VATICAN CITY, JULY 29, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI’s message for the next World Day of Peace, which will be celebrated Jan. 1, focuses on the connection between protecting creation and building peace.
A Vatican communiqué reported today that the theme of the Pope’s message is “If you want to cultivate peace, protect the creation.”
This theme “aims to raise awareness about the strong bond that exists in our globalized and interconnected world between protecting the creation and cultivating peace.”
The communiqué noted that this “close and intimate” tie is “further accentuated by the many problems concerning man’s natural environment, such as the use of resources, climate change, the application and use of biotechnology, and demographic growth.”
It continued, “If the human family is unable to face these new challenges with a renewed sense of social justice and equity, and of international solidarity, we run the risk of sowing seeds of violence among peoples, and between current generations and those to come.”
The message referenced the Pontiff’s latest encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate,” and the guidelines contained in it.
It underlines environmental protection as a challenge for all humankind.
“It is shared and universal duty to respect a collective asset destined for everyone,” the statement added.
The message affirmed that all beings depend on each other according to the “universal order established by the Creator.”
It explained that the consciousness of this interdependence can combat and eliminate the diverse causes of ecological disasters and guarantee the opportunity of responding when these disasters strike populations and territories.
The message emphasized that “ecological questions must be faced,” not only because of the “dreadful prospects that environmental degradation presages.”
“They must be translated, above all, into a strong motivation to cultivate peace,” it stated.