Pope Benedict XVI keeps ratcheting up his appeal to the faithful to protect the Earth.
In September, he sermonized to a huge gathering at a Vatican made greener by his directive that it takes courageous action to "safeguard creation."
Now, on a trip to Australia, he has used even stronger language.
"Something is amiss," he told the crowd gathered in Sydney for the world's biggest Christian festival, according to Agence France-Press. The greedy pursuit of material goods amounts to worship of a false idol, and it's leading to the destruction of the very Earth that sustains us, the Pope said.
"Perhaps reluctantly, we come to acknowledge that there are scars which mark the surface of our earth -- erosion, deforestation, the squandering of the world's mineral and ocean resources in order to fuel an insatiable consumption," he said, describing the bird's eye view of the Earth he experienced during the long flight from Italy.
Congregations of all faiths, from all over America, are taking steps to make their churches, synagogues, temples and mosques more environmentally friendly. They are taking teachings from their holy books to be better stewards of the environment, rallying around a theme of "caring for creation" as a form of worship.
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