(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message to young Argentinians who are undertaking an expedition to the North Pole to raise awareness about threats to the environment. The young people bringing with them a copy of the Encyclical “Laudato sì: On Care for our Common Home”; as well as an olive branch, the symbol of peace. Promoted by the Criteria Foundation – which promotes commitment to civil society for human security – and the Scholas Occurentes, and international group of schools founded in Argentina at the behest of the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
The gravity of environmental problems
A Scholas banner is accompanying the young people on their expedition. In his message, the Pope greeted the participants and emphasized that the environmental situation “is grave.” This and similar initiatives, he said, “help raise awareness about environmental degradation, the depletion of natural reserves, pollution, and also the severely unequal distribution of wealth.”
Working together to transform walls into bridges
“The path you are taking,” the Holy Father added, “shows that with love, effort, and teamwork, it is possible to transform walls into bridges.” Pope Francis concluded his message with a word of gratitude: “Thank you for carrying the banner of the Scholas and their message. Thank you for your courage and your commitment to showing that everything is possible. And thanks to your families who are accompanying you from afar.