Pope Francis and I have little in common. Yet there is one galvanizing idea that we both fundamentally and passionately share: access to clean drinking water is a basic human right and a key component in protecting human life and dignity.
|The Pope addressing the Dialogue on Water gathering|
Access to water is a basic and urgent matter, the Pope suggested. "Basic, because where there is water there is life, making it possible for societies to arise and advance. Urgent, because our common home needs to be protected." Citing statistics from the United Nations, the Pope said, "each day - each day! - a thousand children die from water-related illnesses and millions of persons consume polluted water." While the situation is urgent, it is not insurmountable, he said. "Our commitment to giving water its proper place calls for developing a culture of care -- that may sound poetic, but that is fine because creation is a poem." Scientists, business leaders, religious believers and politicians must work together to educate people on the need to protect water resources and to find more ways to ensure greater access to clean water "so that others can live," he said.
|The Pope signs his pledge to the Dialogue on Water agreement|