d) Animals and Nature/Environment

Picture of Earth (Showing Beauty and Vulnerability)

Top Quotes: Animals and Nature/Environment
(Last updated 26th October 2020)

See below these quotes for the full quotes and their sources

  1. “Ever since the time of Genesis, God has quietly urged us to ‘cultivate and care for the earth.'” (Pope Francis)
  2. “The Earth is an environment to protect and a garden to cultivate.” (Pope Francis)
  3. “The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.” (Pope Francis)
  4. “The natural environment is a collective good… and the responsibility of everyone.” (Pope Francis)
  5. “Respect for life… extends also to the rest of creation.” (Pope John-Paul II)
  6. “We must also remind the powerful of the Earth that God will call them to judgment one day and there it will be revealed if they really… did what they could to preserve the environment.” (Pope Francis)
  7. “People are much less worried than they should be about preserving the natural habitats of the various animal species threatened with extinction.” (Pope John-Paul II)
  8. “It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly.” (Pope Francis)
  9. “Something is wrong in our relationship with nature; matter is not just raw material for us to shape at will; the earth has a dignity of its own and we must follow its directives.” (Pope Benedict XVI)
  10. The importance of ecology is no longer disputed. We must listen to the language of nature and we must answer accordingly.” (Pope Benedict XVI)
  11. “One cannot use with impunity… animals, plants, & the natural elements, simply as one wishes, according to one’s own economic needs. On the contrary, one must take into account the nature of each being and of its mutual connection in an ordered system.” (Pope John-Paul II)
  12. “God will call the world’s powerful to be judged one day, and it will be demonstrated whether they have truly tried to provide food for Him in each person (cf. Mt 25:35) and whether they have acted in order that the environment would not be destroyed but would be able to produce this food.” (Pope Francis)
  13. “When man turns his back on the Creator’s plan, he provokes a disorder which has inevitable repercussions on the rest of the created order. If man is not at peace with God, then Earth itself cannot be at peace.” (Pope John-Paul II)
  14. “Man is suddenly becoming aware that by an ill-considered exploitation of nature he risks destroying it and becoming in his turn the victim of this degradation.” (Pope Paul VI)
  15. “Can you not buy five sparrows for two pennies? And yet not one is forgotten in God’s sight. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. There is no need to be afraid; you are worth many sparrows.” (Jesus)
  16. “Deliberations must go beyond mere exploration of what can be done, and concentrate on what needs to be done, starting today. We do not have the luxury of waiting for others to step forward, or of prioritizing short-term economic benefits. The climate crisis requires “our decisive action, here and now” (Laudato Si’). (Pope Francis)

Full Quotes: Animals and Nature/Environment

“Ever since the time of Genesis, God has quietly urged us to “cultivate and care for the earth.” …. As Genesis recounts, after the word “cultivate”, another word immediately follows: “care”. Each explains the other. They go hand in hand. Those who do not cultivate do not care; those who do not care do not cultivate.”

— Pope Francis addressing a meeting with educators and students in the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, Quito, 7th July 2015

“I urge all to look at the world through the eyes of the Creator: the Earth is an environment to protect and a garden to cultivate.

May the relationship between man and nature not be driven by greed, to manipulate and exploit, but may the divine harmony between beings and creation be conserved in the logic of respect and care, so as to be placed at the service of brothers and sisters, of future generations as well.”

— Pope Francis at a General Audience in St Peter’s Square 22 April 2015, as reported on the Vatican website

“The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

— Pope Francis, a tweet of his the 18 June 2015 (@Pontifex), a time of many tweets centred around the publication of his encyclical on the environment, ‘Praise Be’

“The natural environment is a collective good, the patrimony of all humanity and the responsibility of everyone.”

— Pope Francis in his June 2015 Encyclical “Praised Be” (Laudoto si’) (note: if you don’t have time at the moment to read the whole thing, perhaps try here, which seems to give a good summary of it)

“Respect for life and for the dignity of the human person extends also to the rest of creation, which is called to join man in praising God.”

— Pope John Paul II in “Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words”, 1998, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, page 59, with the subheading “‘The Ecological Crisis,’ 1990.”

“We must do what we can so that everyone has something to eat, but we must also remind the powerful of the Earth that God will call them to judgment one day and there it will be revealed if they really tried to provide food for Him in every person and if they did what they could to preserve the environment so that it could produce this food.”

— Pope Francis at a Mass on 12 May 2015 as reported by the Guardian newspaper

“Although people are rightly worried — though much less than they should be — about preserving the natural habitats of the various animal species threatened with extinction…”

— Pope John Paul II in “Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words”, 1998, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, page 63 & 64, with the subheading “Centesimus Annus”

“It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly.” (19 June)

“Christian thought sees human beings as possessing a particular dignity above other creatures.” (19 June)

“Every creature is the object of the Father’s tenderness, who gives it its place in the world.” (18 June)

“The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together.” (18 June)

“To commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God.” (Patriarch Bartholomew)(18 June)
(a tweet where Pope Francis quoted Patriarch Bartholomew)

Pope Francis, tweets of his on 18 and 19 June 2015 (@Pontifex), (a time of many tweets centred around the release of his Encyclical on the Environment, ‘Praise Be’)

The emergence of the ecological movement in German politics since the 1970s… Young people had come to realize that something is wrong in our relationship with nature, that matter is not just raw material for us to shape at will, but that the earth has a dignity of its own and that we must follow its directives. In saying this, I am clearly not promoting any particular political party — nothing could be further from my mind. If something is wrong in our relationship with reality, then we must all reflect seriously on the whole situation and we are all prompted to question the very foundations of our culture.

Allow me to dwell a little longer on this point. The importance of ecology is no longer disputed. We must listen to the language of nature and we must answer accordingly.

— Pope Benedict XVI in his Address to the German Parliament, Berlin, 22nd September 2011

“One cannot use with impunity the different categories of beings, whether living or inanimate — animals, plants, the natural elements — simply as one wishes, according to one’s own economic needs. On the contrary, one must take into account the nature of each being and of its mutual connection in an ordered system, which is precisely the cosmos….  Using (natural resources) as if they were inexhaustible seriously endangers their availability not only for the present generation but above all for generations to come.”

— Pope John Paul II in section 34 of his 1987 encyclical ‘Sollicitudo Rei Socialis’

“The planet has food for all, but the will to share with everyone seems to be lacking. To prepare the table for all, and to ask that there be one table for all. Doing whatever we can so that everyone has food, but also reminding the world’s powerful that God will call them to be judged one day, and it will be demonstrated whether they have truly tried to provide food for Him in each person (cf. Mt 25:35) and whether they have acted in order that the environment would not be destroyed but would be able to produce this food.”

— Pope Francis, Homily in the Vatican Basilica, 12 May 2015

  • “It is manifestly unjust that a privileged few should continue to accumulate excess goods, squandering available resources, while masses of people are living in conditions of misery at the very lowest level of subsistence. Today, the dramatic threat of ecological breakdown is teaching us the extent to which greed and selfishness—both individual and collective—are contrary to the order of creation, an order which is characterized by mutual interdependence.” (p.83)
  • “When man turns his back on the Creator’s plan, he provokes a disorder which has inevitable repercussions on the rest of the created order. If man is not at peace with God, then earth itself cannot be at peace.” (p.90)

— Pope John-Paul II, ‘The Ecological Crisis’ 1990 (as quoted in ‘John Paul II: In My Own Words’, 1998, London: Hodder & Stoughton, pages 83 and 90)

“Man is suddenly becoming aware that by an ill-considered exploitation of nature he risks destroying it and becoming in his turn the victim of this degradation… The material environment is becoming a permanent menace — pollution and refuse, new illness, and absolute destructive capacity.”

— Pope Paul VI in his 1971 Apostolic Letter ‘Octogesima Adveniens’

“Yes, you love all that exists,
you hold nothing of what you have made in abhorrence,
for had you hated anything, you would not have formed it.
And how, had you not willed it, could a thing persist,
how could it not be conserved if not called forth by you?
You spare all things, because all things are yours, Lord,
lover of life,
you whose imperishable spirit is in all.”

— From the Book of Wisdom (end of chapter 11 and beginning of chapter 12)(this version being the “English translation of the Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation”, as used in Irish Mass Missals.)

“The same thing happens to animals and to people. They both have the same breath. So they both die. People are no better off than the animals. The lives of both are soon gone.”  Ecclesiastes 3:19 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

“I think to myself: where human beings are concerned, this is so that God can test them and show them that they are animals. For the fate of human and the fate of animal is the same: as the one dies, so the other dies; both have the selfsame breath. Human is in no way better off than animal—since all is futile. Everything goes to the same place, everything comes from the dust, everything returns to the dust. Who knows if the human spirit mounts upward or if the animal spirit goes downward to the earth?

— the author of the Book of Ecclesiastes (3:18-21), as in the New Jerusalem Bible translation. (The New Jerusalem Bible has a helpful introduction to this book, which clarifies: “The author of this book is puzzled…. He veers from one extreme to another: at one moment he seems to reject the after-life (3:18), at another to accept it (12:7)…. At all events, the book is valuable for its uncomfortable and questioning faith, and its inclusion in the Bible is a reassurance for all who share this attitude.”)

“Can you not buy five sparrows for two pennies? And yet not one is forgotten in God’s sight. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. There is no need to be afraid; you are worth many sparrows…

“That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Think of the ravens. They do not sow or reap; they have no storehouses or barns; yet God feeds them. And how much more you are worth than the birds!”

— Jesus as reported in Luke’s Gospel, chapter 12 verses 6-7,  and verses 22-24, ‘The New Jerusalem Bible’ translation

“Today’s ecological crisis, especially climate change, threatens the very future of the human family. This is no exaggeration. For too long we have collectively failed to listen to the fruits of scientific analysis….
Faced with a climate emergency, we must take action accordingly, in order to avoid perpetrating a brutal act of injustice towards the poor and future generations….
I would like to emphasize this: they, our children and grandchildren should not have to pay – it is not right that they should pay – the price of our irresponsibility….
Deliberations must go beyond mere exploration of what can be done, and concentrate on what needs to be done, starting today. We do not have the luxury of waiting for others to step forward, or of prioritizing short-term economic benefits. The climate crisis requires “our decisive action, here and now” (Laudato Si’, 161)….
There is still hope and there remains time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, provided there is prompt and resolute action, for we know that “human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start” (Laudato Si’, 205).”

— Pope Francis, addressing participants at a meeting with the theme ‘The Energy Transition & Care of our Common Home’ , 14 June 2019

 




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