Pope Francis waded into the global debate on climate change and the environment on Sunday, saying in the text of a speech that man was destroying nature and betraying God’s calling to be stewards of creation.
Francis offered his thoughts about the environment and climate change for the second time in four days at a rally with young people at a Manila university on the last full day of a week-long Asian tour that has taken him to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
He did not read all of a speech prepared for delivery at the university, improvising after he was moved by the story of an abandoned girl. When he does this, the Vatican says the prepared text is official.
“As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling,” he said in the text.