Press Release

A Call for Environmental Stewardship

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air,over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground." Genesis 1:26.

The origin of the concept of environmental stewardship is found in creation stories, in which God gives man the dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the animals of the land (Gen 1:12:4). As image-bearers of God, man and woman are called to “till and keep the land” that He has made.

However, mankind has not been consistent stewards. Generations have distorted God’s mandate to “exercise dominion” to mean rule over and exploitation of creation for mankind’s wants and needs. Such failure to be responsible environmental stewards has resulted into current ecological crises that threaten the sustainability of the Earth community. With the rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions, global temperature continues to rise. Drought, floods and hurricanes as major effects lead to hunger and massive displacement especially of the poorest and the marginalized.  Global warming and climate change are now a reality! 

Pope John Paul II issued his landmark message, a call for “Ecological Responsibility” during the1990 World Day of Peace to guide the clergy and the faithful in crafting measures for the care of creation and care for the poor people. Pope Benedict XVI’s addresses on various occasions also emphasized on the same call. 

“It is essential to sense that the earth is our common home and, in our stewardship and service to all, to choose the path of dialogue rather than the path of unilateral decisions.  The problems looming on the horizon are complex and time is short.”  (2008 World Day of Peace)

“My dear friends, God’s creation is one and it is good.  The concerns for non-violence, sustainable development, justice and peace, and care for our environment are of vital importance for humanity.”
 (2008 World Youth Day)

“Preservation of the environment, promotion of sustainable development, and particular attention to climate change are matters of grave concern for the entire human family. No nation or business sector can ignore the ethical implications present in all economic and social development. With increasing clarity, scientific research demonstrates that the impact of human action in any one place or region can have worldwide effects.”  
(Address to the religious and scientific leaders, September 1, 2007)

And, on January 1, 2010, Pope Benedict adopted the theme, “If you want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation” for the XLIII World Day of Peace. He asks everyone to respect creation and renew and strengthen “… that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom all things come and towards whom we are journeying”.