The Pope said this Tuesday in a greeting sent to a World Environment Day presentation in Italy's Chamber of Deputies.
The presentation was organized by a parliamentary committee of the friends of the Italian foundation Sorella Natura (Sister Nature), led by the dean of the lower house of Parliament, Angelo Sanza.
The event aimed to promote an environmental culture inspired by Christian humanism.
In his greeting, the Holy Father invited the participants to "always respect creation and promote an environmental culture that is based on respect for ethical values, the protection of life, an economy of solidarity and sustainable development."
The Pontiff extended "a personal greeting, wishing complete success for this timely initiative."
According to the president of Sorella Natura, Roberto Leoni, only with a new culture founded on Christian virtues "will the initiatives of legislators develop, free from the conditionings of a fatalist and Malthusian environmentalist culture."
He also emphasized that "it is not right to accept environmental impositions such as abortion, artificial insemination bereft of ethical regulations, the genetic manipulation of human beings, and the distortion of the ethical norms that govern human relationships beginning with the development of the family nucleus, which is oriented toward joy, life and love."
Manilo Sodi, theology professor of Pontifical Salesian University, spoke about the "need to counter the position of those who consider nature to be above or at the same level as the human person."
Sodi said that "man should not abuse nature," and added that "the transcendental nature of the human person and his relationship with the Creator and with other creatures, favors an ecological use of nature that does not dehumanize the person nor degrade the environment."
The professor also stated that the care of the environment presupposes the acceptance of the universal destiny of earth's goods.
He insisted "on the need for collaboration in the orderly development of the poorest regions, along with the imperative of respecting different lifestyles."
Sodi stated that a healthy ecology "encourages an examination of conscience; offers an opportunity for formation; looks at the person in all its greatness and integrity; calls for the formulation of laws and regulations that demonstrate the harmony between person and nature; respects the environment so that, as it was received, it can be passed on to others; lives with the awareness of its contribution to preparing a new heaven and a new earth where everything will recapture the original purpose intended by the Creator."
Ricardo Cascioli, president of Italy's European Center of Studies on Population, Environment and Development, and Antonio Gaspari, director of the master's degree in environmental sciences at the European University of Rome, also spoke at the event.
The two co-authored "Le Bugie degli Ambientalisti" ("The Lies of Environmentalists"), published in two volumes in Italian by Piemme.
Cascioli warned against the strong inhuman and anti-development character of the dominant ideology of "environmentalism" that sees man as the cancer of the planet.
Gaspari recalled the encyclical "Centesimus Annus" of Pope John Paul II in which an appeal was made for a "human ecology founded upon the primacy and spirituality of the human person ... a social ecology of work mindful of the quality of life and economic development for man, not against him ... and an ecology of the family that sees family as the first school of humanity and of the humanization in the world."