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Fig 4.12 – Nature as Sacred

Text: Page 141

St. Francis of Assisi (1181–1226) founded an alternative religious order that became a symbol of a more loving and gentle Catholic Church; his emphasis was on a sacred connection to the natural, Daoist-like world. His focus on peace helped end the Crusades, especially after his trip to Egypt to convert Muslims and the Sultan. His love for animals and the natural environment remains inspirational in modern times, especially for those concerned about climate change.

In 2013, Pope Francis, the first pope outside of Europe since the eighth century, took the name and the spirit of St. Francis and, in his 2015 Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality, called global warming a sin, imploring humanity to reaffirm its responsibility to be good stewards of creation.

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