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Pope Francis declares care for creation a new work of mercy


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Vatican City, Sep 1, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- On Thursday Pope Francis yet again showed his knack for surprises and his openness to “newness” by adding the care of creation to the traditional sets of both the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

“We usually think of the works of mercy individually and in relation to a specific initiative: hospitals for the sick, soup kitchens for the hungry, shelters for the homeless, schools for those to be educated, the confessional and spiritual direction for those needing counsel and forgiveness.”

However, when we look at the works of mercy as a whole, “we see that the object of mercy is human life itself and everything it embraces,” the Pope said in his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, published Sept. 1.

Since human life itself and all that it entails naturally includes caring for creation, Francis proposed “a complement” to the two traditional sets of seven corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

“May the works of mercy also include care for our common home,” he said, explaining that as a spiritual work of mercy, care for creation “calls for a grateful contemplation of God’s world which allows us to discover in each thing a teaching which God wishes to hand on to us.”

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