Environmental thought of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

The explosion of knowledge has not been accompanied by an increase in wisdom. Only wisdom could make us realise that the Creation is an interdependent, undivided whole, not an assemblage of isolated, unrelated parts that can be eliminated, replaced or modified as we see fit. Even the smallest human intervention, even the minutest change in the natural order brought about by human action can have –and does have – long term devastating effects on the planet.

In addition to seeking balance between ourselves and our environment, we need to find balance within ourselves, reassessing our values as well as what is valuable. Let us remember that whoever we are, we all have our part to play, our sacred responsibility to the future. And let us remember that our responsibility grows alongside our privileges; we are more accountable the higher we stand on the scale of leadership. Our successes or failures, personal and collective, determine the lives of billions. Our decisions, personal and collective, determine the future of the planet.

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew,

Symposium The Great Mississippi River: Restoring Balance’
New Orleans, 21 October 2009

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