Pope Francis has made a surprise visit to one of Rome’s main parks to participate in an Earth Day event.
Francis, who wrote an encyclical decrying the exploitation of the Earth’s environment and resources often at the expense of the poor, attended the Earth Day rally at Villa Borghese.
The initiative, ‘Earth Village. Living the City Together. Rome in Mariapolis’, is sponsored by Earth Day Italia, Connect 4 Climate and the Focolare Movement of Rome.
According to the Focolare Movement, “the idea is to create a temporary village within the city, with the involvement of numerous initiatives which daily work to make the capital a better place in which to live, where each citizen or tourist, no matter their age, social class or culture, can experience their own irreplaceable contribution to the life of the city.”
Pope Francis sat on an outdoor stage at Villa Borghese along with an Italian priest who has courageously denounced Naples-area mobsters for systemically dumping toxic waste on local farmland in a lucrative, illicit operation often serving legitimate businesses.
The Pope told the audience that money has become a god “at the centre of the world.”