Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI Message on Water


VATICAN CITY, 15 JULY 2008 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father's message to Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, representative of the Holy See for the "Day of the Holy See" at the International Expo of Saragossa (Spain), was made public. The message, written in Spanish, is dated 10 July.

"I am pleased to send a message of faith and hope", the Pope writes, "to those who are visiting the 2008 Saragossa Expo dedicated to the complex themes tied to the importance of water for human life and the maintenance of equilibrium among the diverse elements of our world. The Holy See wanted to be present at the Expo with a pavilion that was jointly prepared with the archdiocese of Saragossa, which I thank for their generous commitment to promoting proper cultural initiatives that draw the visitor closer to the immense patrimony of spirituality, art, and social wisdom that is inspired by water and which has been safeguarded by the Catholic Church".
"We have to be aware that, regrettably, water - an essential and indispensible good that the Lord has given us to maintain and develop life -, because of incursions and pressures from various social factors, is today considered a good that must be especially protected through clear national and international policies and used according to sensible criteria of solidarity and responsibility. The use of water - which is seen as a universal and inalienable right - is related to the growing and urgent needs of those living in poverty, keeping in mind that the 'limited access to drinkable water affects the wellbeing of an enormous number of people and is frequently the cause of illness, suffering, conflict, poverty, and also death'".

"Those who consider water today to be a predominantly material good", the Pope concludes, "should not forget the religious meanings that believers, and Christianity above all, have developed from it, giving it great value as a precious immaterial good that always enriches human life on this earth. How can we not recall in this circumstance the suggestive message that comes to us from Sacred Scripture, which treats water as a symbol of purification and life? The full recovery of this spiritual dimension is ensured and presupposed for a proper approach to the ethical, political, and economic problems that affect the complex management of water on the part of all concerned, as well as in the national and international spheres".

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