3 Sep 2013

The Green Patriarch issus an encyclical focusing on the environment and dangers of genetic modification.

Eastern Orthodoxy’s leading prelate Patriarch Bartholomew I (known as the Green Patriarch) decried damage to the environment in an encyclical letter issued on the occasion of the new Orthodox liturgical year, which began September 1.

Like Al Gore, who named him the "Green Patriarch," the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church is a prominent leader in the environmental movement. Since 1997, he has been bringing principal scientists, environmentalists, religious leaders from all faiths, and policy makers from all over the world together to work on the ecological crisis. (You can read more about his previous work and see a short video HERE).   

We are today obliged to focus our attention on the unseen human interventions impacting the ecological balance, which is disturbed not only by visible destructive actions – such as deforestation, depletion of water resources, the overall exploitation of natural and energy resources, together with the pollution of immense land or marine regions by means of spilling or depositing toxic and chemical materials – but also by activities invisible to the naked eye,” said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

"Naturally, we are not opposed to scientific research, so long as it provides beneficial services to humanity and the environment. Thus, the use of scientific determinations, for instance, for the healing of illness is surely acceptable; but the forceful commercial exploitation of resources from contemporary chemical and biological technology in the light of some predetermined conclusion that these are not harmful to humanity, is certainly denounced because it has repeatedly led to tragic consequences for humanity and the environment."

We are speaking of interventions into the genes of living creatures and the creation of mutations with unforeseen developments, such as the discovery of ways for releasing vast powers, atomic and nuclear, whose misuse could obliterate all traces of life and civilization on our planet,” he added as he prayed “that the divine Creator of all may enlighten the scientists, who are particularly involved with these issues, that they may enter the mysteries of nature with humility before God and respect toward the natural laws so as to avoid the unnatural use of their research for commercial or other reasons.”

You can read the full text of the encyclical HERE.

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