Thursday, June 13, 2024

Popular News

HomeNewsVaticanPope warns against the exploitation of oceans

Pope warns against the exploitation of oceans

In a message to the Ambassador of Costa Rica to the Holy See, Pope Francis expresses his support for a meeting on Ocean Action entitled “Immersed in Change.” The event is taking place in San José and aims to address critical issues facing the world’s oceans.

By Linda Bordoni

In a message, to Costa Rican ambassador to the Holy See Federico Zamora Cordero, to be conveyed to the “High-Level Event on Ocean Action: Immersed in Change” taking place on 7 – 8 June, in San José,  Pope Francis emphasized the symbolic significance of water and its vital role in human life and societal progress.

The event serves as a platform for the exchange of best practices and successful experiences related to ocean governance and health.

Drawing a parallel between the city of Rome and the oceans, he highlighted how the ancient Romans celebrated the arrival of water that restored the city’s grandeur after periods of scarcity and turmoil.

Referencing the image of Oceanus (a representation of the sea god) in Rome’s iconic Trevi Fountain, the Pope explained that this symbol which shows Oceanus navigating the streets of Rome on a chariot drawn by sea horses, serves as a powerful reminder of the city’s historical relationship with water.

“It would almost seem as if the very city were immersed in the domains of the sea,” the Pope said, highlighting the deep connection between human civilization and the oceans.

The statue of Oceanus at the Trevi Fountain in Rome

The statue of Oceanus at the Trevi Fountain in Rome

Humanity has exploited this precious gift

The Holy Father lamented the current state of the world’s water resources, noting how humanity has exploited this precious gift.

“It is regrettable to note that we have perverted such epithets by turning what is useful, like water, into an object of exploitation,” he said, adding “We violate that which does humble and silent work for the common good. And instead of considering this gift of God as precious, we turn it into currency, a reason for speculation, and even a vehicle for extortion.”

Citing St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Creatures,” in which water is described as “useful, humble, precious, and chaste,” the Pope appealed for a return to these values and emphasised the need to honour and protect water as a gift of the Lord.

In the message, the Pope also recalled the story behind Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain, known as Acqua Vergine,  named after a young maiden who guided Roman soldiers to a fresh spring, symbolizing purity and the life-giving properties of water.

Pope Francis warned that this purity and goodness are at risk due to human malice, selfishness, and environmental neglect.

“All that goodness that water brings to ordinary people is in danger of being broken by malice, selfishness, and contempt for others,” he warned.

School of Salema fish

School of Salema fish

Call for change 

Calling for a “radical change” in how humanity perceives and interacts with water, the Pope stressed the importance of recognizing water’s role in food security and climate regulation, and he urged collective action against pollution to restore the oceans’ beauty and purity.

“Let us value its common utility in food security, its humble work in climate regulation, fight against pollution to restore its precious beauty, and make a commitment not to violate its purity, leaving it as a legacy to future generations,” he said.

Concluding, Pope Francis said, “May the image of this beautiful Roman fountain help us realize that our entire civilization is immersed in the ocean.”

Popular News

80 years after historic meeting with Pope, Irish Regiment returns to the Vatican

Eighty years ago today, the Irish Brigade became the first group of Allied soldiers...

Pope at Audience: The Holy Spirit makes Scripture living and active

Pope Francis reflects on the work of the Holy Spirit in revelation, highlighting His...

‘From Tourist to Pilgrim’: Let yourself be transformed!

As we prepare to live and celebrate the 2025 Jubilee Year, Vatican Media presents...

Bishops in Bolivia start digitization process in dioceses

The Bishop of Bolivia implement a project to move parish records onto a digital...