Pope Francis holding up anti-fracking t-shirts following a meeting with a group of Argentinian environmental activists to discuss water and fracking issues. The shirts read “No To Fracking” and “Water Is More Precious Than Gold.”
This week Pope Francis met with Argentine filmmaker Fernando “Pino” Solanas (La Guerra del Fracking — The Fracking War) and environmental activist Juan Pablo Olsson at the Vatican to discuss fracking and water pollution. Olsson posted the photo of himself, Solanas and Pope Francis.
Finally, a logical pope. If your belief tells you that God gave us the Earth to be stewards of, then injecting millions of gallons of water and chemicals into the ground to fracture massive rocks for their extra oil and gas and in the process threatening the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend, seems like a really bad idea.
For a pope who has demonstrated that he is able and willing to connect some serious dots by coming out against poverty, inequality, and bigotry, stepping into the environmental arena is the next logical move. After all, it is the poor and underprivileged who have not only been taking the brunt of industrial pollution and environmental degradation that comes with the fossil fueled life but are also at the forefront of suffering the consequences of climate change. He reportedly told the group he “is preparing an encyclical about nature, humans, and environmental pollution.” Francis is actually living up to his name as the patron saint of the poor. St. Francis was named the patron saint of ecology by John Paul II in 1979, because of his theological connection to poverty.
“It is my hope that the inspiration of Saint Francis will help us to keep ever alive a sense of ‘fraternity’ with all those good and beautiful things which Almighty God has created,” Pope John Paul II later explained. “And may he remind us of our serious obligation to respect and watch over them with care, in light of that greater and higher fraternity that exists within the human family.”
Posted on December 4, 2013 by Ralph Metzner