Pontiff Calls Water an Inalienable Right

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 22, 2007 (ZENIT.org).- Benedict XVI has called water an "inalienable right" in a message marking the U.N. World Water Day, celebrated each March 22.

A message sent on behalf of the Pope by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, recalls that there is a "shared responsibility" in managing this precious resource, "enabling access by all, especially those living in conditions of poverty."

The message stated that this is "a moral and political imperative in a world that has levels of knowledge and technology capable of ending a scarcity of water."

The papal message continues: "We are all called to modify our way of life in an educational effort capable of returning the worth and respect merited by this common resource for humanity.

"We are faced with a socioeconomic, environmental and moral challenge that concerns not only institutions, but society itself."