Pope launches ecology degree at pontifical university

Patriarch Bartholomew I, Pope Francis and UNESCO’s Audrey Azoulay at Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University yesterday (CNA/Daniel Ibáñez)

Pope Francis yesterday launched a degree course on ecology and the environment at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. Source: CNA.

The course of studies, called “Care of our common home and protection of creation,” was established in cooperation with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, the spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians.

A UNESCO Chair “On Futures of Education for Sustainability” was also inaugurated yesterday.

In a letter to Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the university’s grand chancellor, Pope Francis said that a university education must “be able to respond to the numerous challenges currently posed to the whole of humanity and communities of believers, proposing a courageous coherent cultural drive and a scientifically valid project”.

Structures and enthusiasm are not enough to face the environmental crisis, he added, saying “solid preparation is needed”.

“In the Catholic Church, attention to the protection of creation finds its roots in the patrimony of reflections, ideas, and tools for action contained in her social doctrine,” he said.

Francis said that expressions of freedom, justice, mutual respect, solidarity, equity, and the common good were used today to “justify any action” in the face of “the degradation that threatens the planet”.

“This is why educating and training remain the ways to go in order to move from commitment to the environment to proper ecological responsibility,” he commented.

Both believers and non-believers, he said, have a duty to develop concrete tools for safeguarding the planet’s ecosystems, “knowing that it is not given to us to dispose of them without measure”.


Pope Francis launches ecology degree course at pontifical university (By Courtney Mares, CNA)


Pope: Environmental studies are beneficial to all (Vatican News)

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