Pope warns Earth heading for self-destruction without action

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Pope Francis delivers his Urbi et Orbi blessing after celebrating Easter Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica at The Vatican Sunday, April 4, 2021, during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Filippo Monteforte/Pool photo via AP)

ROME — Pope Francis is warning that the world is “on a path of self-destruction” if political leaders fail to courageously use the COVID-19 pandemic as a chance to make the planet a fairer and greener place.

In a video message released Thursday on World Earth Day, Francis said political leaders have an opportunity to “come out better” following the lessons learned about the social injustices laid bare during the pandemic.

Francis has made his environmental appeal a hallmark of his papacy, denouncing how wealthy countries have plundered God’s creation for profit at the expense of poor and indigenous peoples.

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