Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross – the Santa Croce – was the scene this week for a major international conference titled: “The new climate economy, exploring how economic growth and sustainability can go hand-in-hand.” Under the joint sponsorship of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Holy See, with the cooperation of the World Resources Institute and the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, participants explored how a sound understanding of the human person and informed moral imagination can help to develop and take economic advantage of green industry opportunities – to be better stewards of creation and make a profit.
Cardinal Parolin, the Secretary of State for the Holy See, addressed the conference and highlighted the conference’s purpose, to “explore the compatibility between economic growth and sustainability.”
The Cardinal opened his speech by quoting a section from the Encylical Letter of Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in veritate , “the human consequences of current tendencies towards a short-term economy — sometimes very short-term — need to be carefully evaluated.” Cardinal Parolin then drew attention to “the serious ethical and moral responsibility that each of us has towards the whole human family, especially the poor and future generations.”
Cardinal Parolin then referenced the Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium and said, “When the future of the planet is at stake, there are no political frontiers, barriers or walls behind which we can hide to protect ourselves from the effects of environmental and social degradation.”
The full text of Cardinal Parolin’s speech can be found below.
To the participants of the Conference on “The New Climate Economy. How Economic Growth and Sustainability Can Go Hand in Hand”.
Rome , May 20, 2015
I have the honour to send warm greetings to all participating in today’s Conference on “The New Climate Economy. How Economic Growth and Sustainability Can Go Hand in Hand” .
I would like to start my brief reflection by recalling the following passage of the Encyclical Letter Caritas in veritate of Pope Benedict XVI: “the human consequences of current tendencies towards a short-term economy — sometimes very short-term — need to be carefully evaluated. This requires further and deeper reflection on the meaning of the economy and its goals , as well as a profound and far-sighted revision of the current model of development, so as to correct its dysfunctions and deviations. This is demanded, in any case, by the earth’s state of ecological health; above all it is required by the cultural and moral crisis of man, the symptoms of which have been evident for some time all over the world” (n. 32).
These words can be a significant source of inspiration for this Conference, which seeks to explore the compatibility between economic growth and sustainability as well as developing the so-called “win-win opportunities” that would help achieve these two important goals for the benefit of present and future generations.
Many studies, such as that made by the New Climate Economy Report, show various possibilities for enhancing the complementarities between these two objectives.
The Conference is timely given that two important preparatory processes of the United Nations system are underway: the UN Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda and the UNFCCC COP-21 in Paris, next December, to adopt a new agreement on facing the adverse effects of climate change. Both of them represent the serious ethical and moral responsibility that each of us has towards the whole human family, especially the poor and future generations.
In his Message to COP-20 in Lima, Pope Francis underlined clearly the “gravity of neglect and inaction. The time to find global solutions is running out. We can find appropriate solutions only if we act together and in agreement. There is therefore a clear, definitive and urgent ethical imperative to act. An effective fight against global warming will be possible only through a responsible collective action, which overcomes particular interests and behaviours and develops unfettered by political and economic pressures. A collective response which is also capable of overcoming mistrust and of fostering a culture of solidarity, of encounter and of dialogue; capable of demonstrating responsibility to protect the planet and the human family.”
When the future of the planet is at stake, there are no political frontiers, barriers or walls behind which we can hide to protect ourselves from the effects of environmental and social degradation. There is no room for the globalization of indifference, the economy of exclusion or the throwaway culture so often denounced by Pope Francis (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium , 52, 53, 59).
Of course, the path is not easy, since this ethical and moral responsibility calls into question the resetting of the development model, requiring a major political and economic commitment. However, as I said to the UN Climate Summit on 23 September 2014, “the technological and operational bases needed to facilitate this mutual responsibility are already available or within our reach. We have the capacity to start and strengthen a true and beneficial process which will irrigate, as it were, through adaptation and mitigation activities, the field of economic and technological innovation where it is possible to cultivate two interconnected objectives: combating poverty and easing the effects of climate change.”
It is my earnest hope, and I am sure that it is possible, that this Conference can make a strong contribution in this direction, taking into account that “the dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies” (Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium , n. 203).
With sentiments of esteem and respect, may I convey to you the prayerful best wishes of His Holiness Pope Francis and his hope that the discussions and reflections of this Conference may contribute to further and deepen reflection on the meaning of the economy and its goals , as well as to finding ways to guarantee access to a truly integral human development for all, especially the poor and the future generations.
Pietro Card. Parolin
Secretary of State
(from Vatican Radio)…
Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross – the Santa Croce – was the scene this week for a major international conference titled: “The new climate economy, exploring how economic growth and sustainability can go hand-in-hand.” Under the joint sponsorship of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Embassy of the Kingdom of…
(Vatican Radio) The many Christians who are being persecuted in our times “are martyrs” Pope Francis said on Wednesday, at the end of his General Audience.
The Holy Father praised an initiative of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) to make a special remembrance, on the Vigil of Pentecost, of the many “brothers and sisters” who have been exiled or killed for no other reason than being Christian. He expressed his hope that the moment of prayer for the new Christian martyrs would increase the recognition that “religious liberty is an inalienable human right.”
Pope Francis also said he hoped Saturday’s time of prayer and remembrance would “increase sensitivity to the plight of Christians persecuted in our day” and help “put an end to this unacceptable crime.”
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) In his catechesis at the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis focused on the role of parents in the education of their children, which he called “an essential characteristic” of the family.
The Holy Father noted the many difficulties facing parents today, especially those who find themselves in difficult situations. He spoke especially about the difficulties of separated couples, calling on them to “never, never, never take the children hostage!”
He spoke out strongly against “intellectual critics” who have “silenced” parents in order to defend younger generations from real or imagined harmed. This has opened up a fracture between families and societies, leading to a crisis in the relationship between families and society. So-called experts have often taken the place of parents, depriving them of their proper place in the education of their own children, “even in the most delicate and personal aspects of their lives.” Parents often are afraid to correct their children, leaving it instead to experts. Pope Francis recalled an episode from his own life, when he had said a bad word to his teacher, and his mother had come to the school to make him apologize to the teacher – and then corrected him when he got home. This wouldn’t happen today, where too often a teacher who tried to discipline a child would be criticized by the child’s parents.
The rupture between parents and other educators can lead parents to exclude themselves from the education of their children. “It is evident that this approach is not good,” the Pope said. “It is not harmonious, it is not dialogical, and rather than favouring the collaboration between families and other educational agents, it opposes them to one another.”
Christian communities, on the other hand, “are called to offer support for the educational mission of families – and they do so above all with the light of the Word of God.” Pope Francis noted how the relations between parents and children, described by St Paul, are rooted in love, which is the gift of God. “Even in the best families there is need of support, and great patience,” he said.
Pope Francis said that the grace of Christ brings to completion what is written in human nature. The many examples of the wisdom of Christian parents show that good family education is the backbone of a healthy society. He prayed, “May the Lord grant to Christian families the faith, the liberty, and the courage necessary for their mission!”
Below, please find the English-language summary of the Pope’s catechesis during the weekly General Audience:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on the family, today we consider the vocation of families to educate their children, to raise them in the profound human values which are the backbone of a healthy society. This educational mission, essential as it is, nowadays encounters a variety of difficulties. Parents spend less time with their children and schools are often more influential than families in shaping the thinking and values of the young. Yet the relationship between family and school ought to be harmonious. Our children need sure guidance in the process of growing in responsibility for themselves and others. Christian communities are called to support the educational mission of families. They do this above all by living in fidelity to God’s world, cultivating faith, love and patience. Jesus himself was raised in a family; when he tells us that all who hear the word of God and obey are his brothers and sisters, he reminds us that for all their failings, our families can count on his inspiration and grace in the difficult but rewarding vocation of educating their children.
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) The many Christians who are being persecuted in our times “are martyrs” Pope Francis said on Wednesday, at the end of his General Audience. The Holy Father praised an initiative of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) to make a special remembrance, on the Vigil of Pentecost, of the many “brothers and sisters” who…