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Pope FrancisOn Saturday, Pope Francis condemned deforestation and environmental destruction, calling it the sin of modern times.

Speaking at the University of Molise, the pope reiterated his views on the exploitation of the planet, saying that the Earth should be allowed to give up her fruits, not plundered for them.

“This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: to convert ourselves to a type of development that knows how to respect creation. When I look at America, also my own homeland, so many forests, all cut, that have become land … that can no longer give life. This is our sin, exploiting the Earth and not allowing her to her give us what she has within her.”

Pope Francis, a native of South America, takes his papal name from St. Francis of Assisi. Francis is considered the patron of animals and the environment.

The pope is currently writing an encyclical on man’s relationship with nature. This past May, Francis proclaimed, “Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.”

via Al Jazeera

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