Access to clean water is an essential human right that must be defended and protected, the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development said in a new document.
Defending the right to clean water is part of the Catholic Church’s promotion of the common good, ‘not some particular national agenda’, the dicastery said, calling for ‘a management of water so as to ensure universal and sustainable access to it for the future of life, the planet and the human community’.
The 46-page document, titled ‘Aqua Fons Vitae: Orientations on Water, Symbol of the Cry of the Poor and the Cry of the Earth’, was released by the Vatican on 30th March.
The preface, signed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, dicastery prefect, and Mgr Bruno Marie Duffe, secretary of the dicastery, stated that the current coronavirus pandemic has shed a light on ‘the interconnectedness of everything, be it ecological, economic, political and social’.
‘The consideration of water, in this sense, clearly appears to be one of the elements that heavily impacts ‘integral’ and ‘human’ development,’ the preface stated.
Water, the preface said, ‘may be abused, rendered unusable and unsafe, polluted and dissipated, but the sheer necessity of it for life – human, animal and plant – requires us, in our different capacities as religious leaders, policymakers and legislators, economic actors and businessmen, rural subsistent farmers and industrial farmers etc, to jointly show responsibility and exercise care for our common home’.
Picture: People collect clean drinking water from a tanker sent by government authorities as part of measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in San Jose, Costa Rica, on 14th March 2020. The Vatican said defending the right to clean water is part of the Catholic Church’s promotion of the common good. (CNS photo/Juan Carlos Ulate, Reuters).