Pope Francis has sent a message to young Argentinians who are journeying to the North Pole to raise awareness about threats to the environment, reported Vatican Radio.
The young people brought with them a copy of the Argentine Pontiff’s Encyclical on the environment, “Laudato sì: On Care for our Common Home,” a Scholas Occurentes banner, as well as an olive branch, the symbol of peace.
Those supporting the youth in this endeavor are Scholas Occurentes, newly made papal foundation, originally started in Argentina; the Criteria Foundation, which promotes commitment to civil society for human security; and an international group of schools founded in Argentina under then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
In his message, Francis greeted the young people and stressed the ‘grave’ environmental situation. This and similar initiatives, the Pope continued, “help raise awareness about environmental degradation, the depletion of natural reserves, pollution, and also the severely unequal distribution of wealth.”
“The path you are taking,” the Holy Father added, “shows that with love, effort, and teamwork, it is possible to transform walls into bridges.”
The Holy Father concluded thanking them for them and their families who, he noted, are ‘accompanying them from afar.’
“Thank you for carrying the banner of the Scholas and their message. Thank you for your courage and your commitment to showing that everything is possible,” he said.