New Italian prime minister cites Pope in first parliamentary address

In his first speech to lawmakers, Italy's new prime minister, Mario Draghi, cited Pope Francis' words regarding humanity's failure in caring for the environment.

Feb 20, 2021

By Junno Arocho Esteves
In his first speech to lawmakers, Italy's new prime minister, Mario Draghi, cited Pope Francis' words regarding humanity's failure in caring for the environment.

Addressing the lower house of the Italian parliament Feb. 17, Draghi laid out his plan for guiding Italy through the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the post-pandemic challenges the country will inevitably face, including climate change.

Not only has global warming had a "direct effect on our lives and our health," the land that "mega-cities have taken away from nature could have been one of the causes of the transmission of the virus from animals to humans," he said.

"As Pope Francis has said, 'Natural tragedies are the Earth's response to our mistreatment. If I ask the Lord now what he thinks, I don’t think he will tell me something very good. We are the ones who have ruined the work of the Lord!'" Draghi added.

The papal quote was taken from a general audience talk given by Pope Francis in April 2020 to mark the 50th Earth Day, which was established in 1970 to raise public awareness and concern for the environment and its impact on people’s health and all life.

Draghi's premiership came after Italian President Sergio Mattarella chose him to form a new government after former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte failed to secure a parliamentary majority.––CNS

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