Pope Francis: destroying the earth is a sin and should be a crime
Addressing the International Association of Penal Law in the Vatican on 15th November 2019, Pope Francis proposed that “sins against ecology” be added to the teachings of the Catholic Church and went a step further, saying “ecocide” should be a fifth category of crimes against peace at the international level.
The Pope described acts that “can be considered as ‘ecocide’: the massive contamination of air, land and water resources, the large-scale destruction of flora and fauna, and any action capable of producing an ecological disaster or destroying an ecosystem.” Adding: “By ‘ecocide’ we should understand the loss, damage and destruction of ecosystems of a given territory, so that its enjoyment by the inhabitants has been or may be severely affected. This is a fifth category of crimes against peace, which should be recognised as such by the international community.”
This is exactly what Stop Ecocide is campaigning for. Jojo Mehta, co-founder of Stop Ecocide, said: ‘We’re thrilled to hear Pope Francis calling for serious harm to the Earth (ecocide) to be made a crime. His comments show he is aware of our work. With his global influence behind this, we hope to see many other Heads of State step forward in support.”