AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, ho
Speaking in Rome today, Pope Francis called on his followers to become "Custodians of Creation," reported ThinkProgress.
The church's first Argentinean pope took his name from Saint Francis of Assisi, famous for his love of all animals. Pope Francis noted that love in his address today, saying God has charged humanity with caring for the created world — and each other.
"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," Francis said. "Safeguard Creation. Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!"
The Vatican held a five-day summit earlier this month addressing sustainability initiatives; the summit welcomed experts from fields including microbiology and astronomy, along with legal scholars and economists, to advise the Catholic church on climate change issues.