On the occasion of the World Day of Prayer for the Safeguarding of Creation on 1 September, Pope Francis made realistic observations on environmental issues and, more particularly, on everything concerning the protection of drinking water.
At the outset he said ."It must be acknowledged that we have not succeeded in responsibly protecting creation." He drew attention to the problem of water by recalling that, “access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights.”
Pope Francis firmly emphasized the importance and urgency of taking care of water sources and water basins and not allowing the seas and oceans to be littered by endless fields of floating plastic. " We urgently need shared projects and concrete gestures", before adding "... we are called to engage, actively, praying as if everything depended on divine Providence and working as if everything depended on us."
This vibrant call directly challenges us as a Congregation that adopted, more than ten years ago, a corporate stand on the protection of water as a human right and a public good. What concrete actions can we take on a daily basis to answer this call and contribute to the safeguarding of this essential commodity
In its most recent Declaration on the Right to Safe Drinking Water, published on October 9, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) responds to the Pope's call and urges Canadians to take simple actions that can result in important benefits for the good of all.
Among their suggestions:
• Avoid bottled water whenever possible.
• Make your voice heard to your political representatives to ensure that Canada’s fresh water remains a public good and is not monopolized by private companies.
• Make your voice heard to ensure that the federal government follows through on its pledge to provide clean drinking water on First Nations Reserves
In addition, there are many other actions that can make a difference: such as using water wisely to avoid waste, and so on…
Read the the Holy Father's full message of September 1, 2018; as well as information on the proclamation of the United Nations General Assembly which confirmed the 2018-2028 period as the International Decade for ActionWater for Sustainable Development.