Pope Benedict XVI, shortly after delivering yesterday's midday Angelus at the Vatican, addressed the assembled crowd with some hopeful words for the those gathered in Copenhagen at the climate change conference.
Read an excerpt below...
I hope that the work will help identify actions that are respectful of creation and that will promote a a joint development based on human dignity and for the common good. The integrity of creation requires the adoption of sober and responsible lifestyles, especially towards the poor and future generations. In this perspective, to ensure the full success of the Conference, I invite all people of good will to respect the laws laid down by God in nature and to rediscover the moral dimension of human life.
Benedict, who has already been hailed by some in the environmentalist community as a "Green Pope," is the head of the world's only carbon-neutral sovereign state. Last year, he had solar panels installed on the Vatican's rooftops--now a key source of the state's electricity. Then, he donated enough trees to an eco-restoration project in Hungary to nullify the small nation's carbon output. One of the first speeches given by the Green Pope included a call for Catholics to be "better stewards of God's creation."
Along with the hopeful words, the Vatican will be sending a small delegation to attend the conference to carry the pontiff's own brand of spiritual ecology and the message that all should strive to live simply and in harmony with nature.
Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi continues:
The Copenhagen conference on climate will be considered a success or a failure depending on the commitments assumed by governments, especially those of the biggest and most powerful countries.
The Pope's speech, delivered as both a global religious figure and the head of a sovereign nation, offers yet another encouraging sign that, regardless political or ideological differences, the call for action to combat climate change can be raised with one collective voice.