Pope speaks of urgent need to defend natural world

Pope Benedict spoke  this morning of the "urgent need constantly to defend the environment and the natural world, but also to discover its more profound spiritual and religious dimension."

Addressing a group of sponsors of the Holy See's Pavilion at 'Expo Zaragoza 2008', an international exposition held in the Spanish city of Zaragoza on the theme: 'Water and sustainable development', Pope Benedict said: "The truth is that when God, through creation, gave man the keys to the earth, He wanted him to use this great gift responsibly and respectfully, making it fruitful."

He said: "it is important to reiterate the close relationship between protection of the environment and respect for the ethical requirements of human nature, because 'when human ecology is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits".

The group included Francisco Vazquez, Spanish ambassador to the Holy See, and Archbishop Manuel Urena Pastor of Zaragoza.

In his address the Pope said the pavilion, which  had been one of the most visited, contained an important display of the priceless artistic, cultural and religious heritage of the Church.

"The aim of this initiative was to offer the many visitors an opportunity to reflect upon the significance and primordial importance water has for human life".

Pope Benedict XVI concluded by entrusting the promoters of the Holy See pavilion to Our Lady of the Pillar "at whose feet flow the abundant waters of the River Ebro".

Source: VIS

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