The following comes from a September 1 Crux article by Inés San Martín:
Insisting that environmental damage such as global warming amounts to a sin against creation, Pope Francis on Thursday once again called on Christians to join forces to protect the earth on what’s ecumenically designated as the “World Day of Prayer for Creation.”
“To commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God,” the pope writes, quoting an address the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew gave in Santa Barbara, California, back in 1997.
In a message released by the Vatican on Thursday, Francis pointed out the “sins” against creation, which include humans destroying the ecosystem and degrading the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, and the contamination of the earth’s waters, land, air, and life.
Keeping in mind both the Holy Year of Mercy and prayer day for creation, celebrated on Sept. 1, Francis on Thursday called for Catholics to add a new work of mercy to the traditional 14: “Care for our common home.”
Francis also calls for the Jubilee of Mercy to summon in the faithful to a “profound interior conversion,” sustained by the sacrament of Confession, writing that after a “serious examination of conscience” Catholics can confess their sins against God and his creation.
Quoting his own Laudato Si’, something he does often in Thursday’s message, the pontiff gives several suggestions: “Avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices.”