Aboard the papal plane, 02 December, 2023 / 4:45 pm (ACI Africa).
Pope Francis called the destruction of the environment “an offense against God” in a message given to the participants in the U.N. climate summit on Saturday.
The keynote address that the pope had intended to give in person at the COP28 conference was distributed to the attendees in Dubai, where Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin read a shortened version of the pope’s speech to the assembly on Dec. 2.
Pope Francis, who turns 87 in two weeks, canceled his scheduled trip to the United Arab Emirates days before the climate summit at the request of his doctors after coming down with a flu infection that left him with breathing difficulties and acute bronchitis.
“Sadly, I am unable to be present with you, as I had greatly desired,” the pope said in his message to COP28.
“Even so … I am with you because the destruction of the environment is an offense against God, a sin that is not only personal but also structural, one that greatly endangers all human beings, especially the most vulnerable in our midst, and threatens to unleash a conflict between generations.”