A lifestyle that is environmentally ethical cannot be “schizophrenic” – for example, by showing more care for animals and forests, than for the plight of people, Pope Francis said.
A green lifestyle must be consistent and complete, driven by a love for God the creator and all of his creation, the pope said in a speech on 5th January to the Italian Association of Catholic Teachers, which held its national congress in Rome in early January.
The primary school teachers must help children from a young age understand and practice an environmentally ethical lifestyle that must not be “schizophrenic,” that is, a kind of disconnected concern for, as an example, “taking care of animals in extinction, but ignoring problems facing the elderly. No. Or defending the Amazon rainforest, but neglecting the rights of workers to have a fair wage,” he said.
This approach demands teaching the importance of personal responsibility, not bombarding the children with slogans or catchy commands that someone else will have to carry out, he said. Teach children to have an enthusiastic appetite for “experiencing an environmental ethics that stem from the choices and behaviours in daily life,” he said.
Picture: Pope Francis meets with members of the Italian Association of Catholic Teachers in the Clementine Hall at the Vatican on 5th January. The group of primary school teachers recently held its national congress in Rome. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano).