Former Hitler Youth, WWII Wehrmacht deserter and head of the current incarnation of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, Pope Benedict XVI used his traditional New Year address to call for a revolution in personal lifestyles in order to safeguard the future of the planet.
Click to view image: 'ea084e2a1a8c-popespeech_1549413c.jpg' Poop Benedict XVI used his traditional New Year address to call for a revolution in personal lifestyles in order to safeguard the future of the planet
He said people needed to change how they live their lives and called for "ecological responsibility" to be taught in schools.
The Pope said individuals and families had as important a role to play in preserving the environment as governments meeting at international summits such as the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen last month.
He told thousands of faithful who had gathered in St Peter's Square that environmental responsibility was essential for global peace.
"I would like to underline the importance of the choices of individuals, families and local administrations in preserving the environment.
"An objective shared by all, an indispensable condition for peace, is that of overseeing the earth's natural resources with justice and wisdom," he said.
Calling for an end to war and in particular the suffering of children, the 82-year-old, German-born pontiff said there was "a close link" between respect for mankind and respect for nature.
"If humanity shames itself, it damages its environment", Benedict said.
He appealed for "investment in education with the objective not only to transmit technical and scientific concepts, but also a broader and deeper 'ecological responsibility' based on respect for humanity, human rights and fundamental duties".
The Pope has built on the legacy of his predecessor, John Paul II, in putting the environment high on the Vatican's agenda.
Last month, in a message sent to heads of state and international organisations, Benedict called on rich nations to acknowledge responsibility for the environmental crisis and to rein in consumerism.
He gave his address a week after a 25-year-old woman with a history of mental problems knocked him to the ground during Christmas Eve mass.
He was unhurt in the fall and has kept up his busy holiday schedule.
|Liveleak on Facebook|