Pope Francis has offered a critique of capitalism’s impact on the environment, calling for a response that hears “the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor”.

"The precarious condition of our common home has been the result largely of a fallacious economic model that has been followed for too long,” Pope Francis said on Friday.

The Pope called this economic model “profit-oriented, short-sighted, and based on the misconception of unlimited economic growth,” and said that it results in a “disastrous impact on the natural world.”

“Economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to [...] the pursuit of financial gain, which fail to take the context into account, let alone the effects on human dignity and the natural environment,” he said.

Pope Francis offered his reflection on the environment and the economy to participants at the “Mining for the Common Good” meeting organised by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development at the Vatican.

Mining industry executives from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Canada participated in the meeting, along with Anglican, Methodist, and Catholic leaders dedicated to development. Francis commended the participants for their commitment to dialogue.

We need a paradigm shift in all our economic activities, including mining,” he told the conference participants . “Mining, like all economic activities, should be at the service of the entire human community.”

The Pope stressed the importance of assessing the impact of mining projects on local communities. Pointing to the upcoming Synod on the Amazon, he said that “it is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners, especially when large projects affecting their land are proposed”.



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