In the News: Pope Issues Warning on Environment

In his first address before the World Youth Festival in Sydney, Australia, Pope Benedict XVI urged the world to conserve natural resources while reinforcing the Vatican’s commitment to protecting the environment. In a broad criticism of consumer culture before a crowd of 140,000, the Pope largely blamed the destruction of the environment and depletion of resources on what he calls humanity’s “insatiable consumption.” He went on to warn of the hazards of such materialism and appealed to the audience to make faith the focal point of their public and private lives. The Pope also criticized television and the Internet for treating violence and sexual exploitation as entertainment. Sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church, the World Youth Festival works to improve the lives of youth around the world, with this year’s agenda focusing on social justice and the environment.

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