05:30 GMT26 October 2020
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    The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has attracted some public attention after calling upon tech companies across the world, such as Google and Facebook, to assume responsibility for pornographic content that can be easily shared on social media platforms and search engines.

    Pope Francis made some noteworthy comments during the 20th World Congress of the International Association of Penal Law in Italy this week, by suggesting that another sin should be added to the list of sins in the Catholic catechism.

    What did Pope Francis say? Well, the pontiff suggested it is our environment that should be protected this time and the introduction of the concept of “ecological sin” into the Catechism of the Catholic Church would serve this purpose.

    “We have to introduce―we are thinking about it―to the Catechism of the Catholic Church the sin against ecology, the 'ecological sin' against our common home, because a duty is at stake”, Pope Francis said during his speech at the Congress.

    Citing a recent Synod of Bishops, Pope Francis proposed to define the new vice as “as an act or omission against God, against neighbour, the community, and the environment”.

    “It is a sin against future generations and manifests itself in acts and habits of pollution and destruction of environmental harmony, in the transgressions against the principles of interdependence and in breaking the solidarity networks between creatures”, said the Pope by quoting Paragraph 82 of the Final Document of the Special Assembly for the Pan-Amazonian Region originally translated into English by LifeSiteNews.
    Pope Francis kisses the altar as he celebrates Mass in Knyaz Alexandar Square in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sunday, May 5, 2019
    © AP Photo / Darko Vojinovic
    Pope Francis kisses the altar as he celebrates Mass in Knyaz Alexandar Square in Sofia, Bulgaria, Sunday, May 5, 2019

    This is not the first time the head of the Catholic Church has raised this topic. It was extensively discussed in his book “Our Mother Earth” published last month, which featured a collection of his addresses and messages on the topic of environmental protection.

    Many religious thinkers, however, did not fully endorse the Pope’s idea when approached for a comment, with one prominent Catholic author Dr Peter Kwasniewski arguing that it is only possible for humans to sin against other people or God, as the creator of natural world. 

    “There is no possible sin against planet Earth”, Kwasniewski said as quoted by LifeSiteNews. “All sins are ultimately against God or those who are in God's image”.

    He also criticised the Pope’s bid to advocate for new theological interpretations by using Catholicism’s most prominent summary of religious doctrines as the platform.

    “A pope is not supposed to use a catechism as a launching pad for his personal favourite ideas”, Kwasniewski added.  

    The head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, already attracted some attention earlier this week after demanding that Facebook, Apple, Google and some other prominent global tech companies “assume responsibility” for pornographic content and help to remove child pornography from the internet.

    Catholic Church, ecology, Pope Francis, Pope, Vatican, Italy
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