ZE09082608 - 2009-08-26
On Development That Respects the Environment
"We Come From God and We Are All Going Back to Him"
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 26, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of Benedict XVI's address at
this Wednesday's general audience, which gathered pilgrims in the courtyard of the papal summer residence
of Castel Gandolfo.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters:
We are coming to the end of the month of August, which for many means the end of the summer holidays. As
we return to our daily activities, how can we not thank God for the precious gift of creation, which we can
enjoy not only during the period of vacations! The different phenomena of environmental degradation and
natural calamities, which unfortunately are often reported in the news, remind us of the urgency of the respect
owed to nature, recovering and appreciating, in every day life, a correct relation with the environment. A new
sensitivity to these topics is being developed, which arouses the correct concern of the authorities and of
public opinion, which is also expressed in the multiplication of meetings at the international level.
The earth is a precious gift of the Creator, who has designed its intrinsic order, thus giving us guidelines to
which we must hold ourselves as stewards of his creation. From this awareness, the Church considers
questions linked to the environment and its safeguarding as profoundly linked with the topic of integral
human development. I referred to these questions several times in my last encyclical "Caritas in Veritate,"
reminding of the pressing moral need for renewed solidarity" (49) not only in relations between countries, but
also between individuals, as the natural environment is given by God to everyone, and its use entails a
personal responsibility towards the whole of humanity, in particular, towards the poor and future generations
Experiencing the shared responsibility for creation (Cf. 51), the Church is not only committed to the