Friday January 15, 2010

Canadian Ambassador to the Vatican Appreciates Pope’s Pro-Life Take on Environmentalism

By Patrick B. Craine

ROME, Italy, January 15, 2010 ( – In an interview on Tuesday with Vatican Radio, Canada’s ambassador to the Holy See, Anne Leahy, emphasized her appreciation of Pope Benedict XVI’s insistence on the centrality of human life to environmental concerns.

“I think you’ll have to be struck by the continuity in the Pope’s thought,” she said. She pointed in particular to his newest encyclical Caritas in Veritate, where, she said, “he insisted on the holistic nature of creation.”

“If you want to respect environment, you really have to start by respecting the dignity of the person, from conception – before birth – to natural death,” she continued.

The ambassador was reacting to the Pope’s annual address to the Vatican’s diplomatic corps, which took place on Monday. “If we wish to build true peace, how can we separate, or even set at odds, the protection of the environment and the protection of human life, including the life of the unborn?” the Pope had asked the delegates.

The Pope also emphasized this pro-life environmentalism in his address on the World Day of Peace, she explained. “If you want to build peace, you have to protect creation, and that includes man,” she said.

Leahy was appointed ambassador to the Vatican in July 2008 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She is a career diplomat who has served as ambassador to Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, Poland, and Russia. She was also the federal coordinator for World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto.

In the Pope’s welcome address upon her appointment, he called on Canada to recommit to building a culture of life. “I know it is possible and that your country is capable,” he said. “A culture of life can nourish anew the personal and social existence of Canada as a whole.”

Listen to the Vatican Radio interview here.

See related coverage:

Pope Benedict Reframing Environment Issues to Include Humanity, Born and Unborn

Editorial: Pope Speaks on Church’s “Grave Misgivings” about Modern Environmentalism

Pope To Canada: “I Know it is Possible” For You to Turn to a Culture of Life and Respect Natural Marriage