Pope Francis indicated that the coronavirus pandemic and other recent disastrous events may be nature's way of responding to mistreatment by humans, he told The Tablet.
The pope said the pandemic that has crippled the world in many ways might have occurred because humans did not respond to lesser events.
"There is an expression in Spanish: 'God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives,'" Pope Francis said. "We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods? I don't know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature's responses."
People would do well to remember this time and the consequences of the coronavirus, the pope said, because a short memory of crises in the past has contributed to this moment.
"Every crisis contains both danger and opportunity: the opportunity to move out from the danger," Pope Francis said. "Today, I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world. We need to reconnect with our real surroundings. This is the opportunity for conversion.
"Yes, I see early signs of an economy that is less liquid, more human," he continued. "But let us not lose our memory once all this is past, let us not file it away and go back to where we were. This is the time to take the decisive step, to move from using and misusing nature to contemplating it. We have lost the contemplative dimension; we have to get it back at this time."
In the interview, the pope also spoke of the need to recognize and humanize the poor, who are still on the streets while everyone else is quarantined in their homes. He criticized politicians who still invest in weapons of war while so many around the world suffer from hunger.
(H/T The Hill)