Pope Francis’ calls Catholics to protect the oceans
05 September 2019
Let us pray that politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.
Concerned by the state of the planet’s water supply and the living creatures within it, Pope Francis has asked Catholics to pray and take action so that politicians, scientists, and economists work together to establish protective measures.
The Pope’s Prayer Intention for September is The Protection of the Oceans. It coincides with the Season of Creation, the annual global celebration that unites Christians from around the world, this year from 1 September to 4 October.
Thirteen million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year. Not only do they remain intact for centuries after use, they eventually become microplastics which are consumed by marine life and contaminate the world’s food chain.
The oceans provide fundamental natural resources such as food, medicine and biofuel, they contribute to the molecular decomposition and elimination of waste and pollution, and their ecosystems act as buffers that reduce the damage caused by storms.
Marine phytoplankton is responsible for the production of more than half of the planet’s oxygen.
Pope Francis has called for an interdisciplinary approach to saving the oceans which “cannot leave the human person out of consideration”.
International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, Fr Frédéric Fornos SJ, said Pope Francis had invited all Catholics to pray and act to protect the oceans.
“Our solidarity with the common home is born from our faith, Creation is a project of love given by God to humanity,” he said.
Father of kindness,
you created the world for us
and entrust your children with the stewardship of creation.
We ask your forgiveness
for not knowing how to take care of the beauty that has been entrusted to us
and using selfishly and unreflectively
the resources we possess.
We apologise for our lack of sensitivity and love
to nature and to your sons and daughters
who suffer the consequences of our bad choices.
Give us light to make decisions for the defence of the oceans,
doing everything in our power to make the Earth
the place of beauty that you dreamed for us.
Proposals for September
- Learn through social networks and other publications on the Internet, about the impact and the extent of the pollution of the oceans and its consequences for the future of the planet. Take note of the good practices that can be adopted in homes, schools and workplaces to collaborate in their protection.
- At home, try to make more thoughtful decisions about the things you buy, especially in regard to the amount of plastic, polluting materials and waste that are created. Opt for the ecological rule of: Reduce; Re-Use; Recycle.
- In your community, read, reflect and share the encyclical Laudato Si, of Pope Francis, making known its guidelines in liturgical celebrations, in catechesis, in prayer and formation groups. Focusing on how institutions can help raise awareness about good ecological practices, separation of garbage, waste reduction, use of recyclable materials, and speaking about it in liturgical celebrations, in catechesis, in prayer and formation groups.