Pope Benedict XVI used his Epiphany Day homily to encourage the world's Catholics to tackle global warming in order to prevent "poisons and pollution" from harming present and future generations, according to the Associated Press account.
It isn't the first time the Pope has spoken out about environmental protection. In September 2007, he sermonized to a huge gathering at a Vatican made greener by his directive that it takes courageous action to "safeguard creation."
And in July 2008 he said 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.
"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 at the time, describing the bird's-eye view of the Earth he experienced during the long flight from Italy to Australia.
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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