Common Declaration signed by Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
"Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, on 25th of May 2014 held private talks in Jerusalem and signed a Common Declaration in which they pledged to continue on the path towards unity between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Their encounter marked the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and the Patriarch Athenagoras in 1964. In their joint declaration, Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew said it is their duty to work together to protect human dignity and the family and build a just and humane society in which nobody feels excluded. They also stressed the need to safeguard God’s creation and the right of religious freedom. The two leaders expressed concern over the situation facing Christians amidst the conflicts of the Middle East and spoke of the urgency of the hour that compels them to seek the reconciliation and unity of the human family whilst fully respecting legitimate differences." extract from the Official Vatican Network.
It is of special importance and meaning to our community that among the many points expressed by the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch, it is the following to read as well:
6. It is our profound conviction that the future of the human family depends also on how we safeguard – both prudently and compassionately, with justice and fairness – the gift of creation that our Creator has entrusted to us. Therefore, we acknowledge in repentance the wrongful mistreatment of our planet, which is tantamount to sin before the eyes of God. We reaffirm our responsibility and obligation to foster a sense of humility and moderation so that all may feel the need to respect creation and to safeguard it with care. Together, we pledge our commitment to raising awareness about the stewardship of creation; we appeal to all people of goodwill to consider ways of living less wastefully and more frugally, manifesting less greed and more generosity for the protection of God’s world and the benefit of His people.