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The Catholic aid, development and social justice organisation CIDSE (Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité) has backed Pope Francis’ call to the countries of the global North to repay the “ecological debt” they owe to the South after having “enriched themselves by exploiting the natural resources” of those poorer southern nations.

“Economic development cannot remain a nightmare for ecology”, the ‘first among equals’ of world Orthodoxy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, has clamoured for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation today, September 1, at the same time that he urged “an alternative way of economic structure and development” beyond “the maximisation of profiteering” all too widespread in our world today.

“We are part of this interconnected web of life, not its masters”, Pope Francis reminded humanity in a message today for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in which he also urged the world “to find just and sustainable ways of living that can give the Earth the rest it requires, ways that satisfy everyone with a sufficiency, without destroying the ecosystems that sustain us”.

At the Angelus today, Pope Francis called for “constructive dialogue and respect for international law” to resolve the conflict in the eastern Mediterranean. Though the pontiff did not mention Greece and Turkey explicitly, those countries have been clashing over gas and oil deposits in the region that both nations claim lie in their waters.