Catechism will be updated to include ecological sins, Pope says

By Junno Arocho Esteves, 19 November 2019
Deforestation in the Amazon. Image: AFP or licensors/Vatican News.


Following through on a proposal made at the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, Pope Francis said there are plans to include a definition of ecological sins in the church’s official teaching.

“We should be introducing — we were thinking — in the Catechism of the Catholic Church the sin against ecology, ecological sin against the common home,” he told participants at a conference on criminal justice Nov. 15.

Members of the International Association of Penal Law were in Rome Nov. 13-16 for the conference, which centred on the theme, “Criminal Justice and Corporate Business.”

Pope Francis also called on the international community to recognise ecocide as a “fifth category of crime against peace.”

According to the Rome Statute, which was adopted by the International Criminal Court in 1998, the four core international crimes currently established are: crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes and crimes of aggression.

“On this occasion, and through you,” the pope told conference participants, “I would like to appeal to all the leaders and representatives in this sector to help with efforts in order to ensure the adequate legal protection of our common home.”

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With thanks to Catholic News Service (CNS) and Junno Arocho Esteves, where this article originally appeared.


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