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Pope Francis urged Catholics to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Friday, asserting they are “supported by our deepest religious and ethical values.”
Speaking in the Vatican to participants at an international conference on “Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals: Listening to the Cry of the Earth and of the Poor,” the pontiff said the SDGs, which mandate climate action and gender equality among other things, represent “a great step forward for global dialogue.”
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Approved by more than 190 nations, the goals marked a vitally “new and universal solidarity,” Francis said. The goals also happen to clash with certain tenets of Catholic morality, something the pope declined to mention.
“Different religious traditions, including the Catholic tradition, have embraced the objectives of sustainable development because they are the result of global participatory processes that, on the one hand, reflect the values of people and, on the other, are sustained by an integral vision of development,” he said.
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“We should all commit ourselves to promoting and implementing the development goals that are supported by our deepest religious and ethical values,” he added.
It was unclear from the pope’s words whether he believes that all results of a “global participatory process” are necessarily positive or whether the “values of people” always reflect true human goods in harmony with the Christian view of the human person.
System - Mentality - Progress - Terms - Material
The modern economic system has embraced a mentality “where progress is assessed only in terms of material growth,” the pope continued, “on account of which we are almost obliged to irrationally exploit the environment and our fellow human beings.”
Regarding what he hopes will come from the conference, Francis pointed to “solutions.”
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