“Same old, same old is suicide”, pope says

Same old, same old

“Same old, same old is suicide”, said Pope Francis at an event launching a degree course on ecology and the environment at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome

The course of studies, called “Care of our common home and protection of creation,” was established in cooperation with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, the spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians.

“Let’s permanently ditch this — ‘it has always been done this way’ — it’s suicide,” he said. “It creates superficiality and answers that are valid only in appearance,” he said at the launch.

A UNESCO Chair “On Futures of Education for Sustainability” was also inaugurated. Francis signed an agreement to establish the new chair with Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO.

Both initiatives are endorsed by the Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches.

Patriarch Bartholomew said the initiatives reflect the collaboration between the two “sister churches” and their commitment to work to protect “God’s wonderful universe.”

They also reflect a needed interreligious and interdisciplinary approach to the urgent environmental challenges of today, especially concerning climate change, he added.

The chair will encompass the fields of theology, philosophy, law and socioeconomic aspects “in order to train and shape students (in) how to respond to the ecological crisis in a collaborative and conscientious manner,” he said.

Pope Francis praised the patriarch’s decades-long dedication to promoting safeguarding creation. He quoted the patriarch’s conviction that safeguarding “is a way of loving, of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs. It is liberation from fear, greed and compulsion.”

The pope encouraged the Lateran academic community to have “an attitude that requires openness, creativity, broader educational offers, but also sacrifice, commitment, transparency and honesty in choices, especially in this difficult time.”

“Let us definitively abandon that ‘it has always been done this way,’” the pope said, calling it a suicidal mentality, which “generates superficiality and answers that are valid only in appearance.”


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