PRIORITIES: Pope Urges Action Against ‘Emergency’ Ocean Pollution Amid Church Sex Abuse Scandal

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Vatican City (AFP) – Pope Francis on Saturday issued a call to clear up oceans threatened by  plastic waste and underscored the need to provide drinking water to all as a basic right.

“We cannot allow our seas and oceans to be littered by endless fields of floating plastic,” the pontiff said in a message on the fourth World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

“Sadly, all too many efforts fail due to the lack of effective regulation and means of control, particularly with regard to the protection of marine areas beyond national confines.” – READ MORE

On Thursday, even as he continued his silence with regard to accusations that he helped cover up sexual abuse within the Catholic Church from top-ranking members of the Vatican hierarchy, Pope Francis took to Twitter to issue another of his cryptically new-agey nostrums: “We Christians are not selling a product. We are communicating a lifestyle.”

This tweet drew the ire and mockery of thousands of users, who pointed out first that the Pope’s language was vaguely reminiscent of a “Mad Men” advertising agency, and second that the Pope’s latest communiques hadn’t exactly communicated a valuable lifestyle. The Pope then deleted his tweet and replaced it with this, slightly less Hollywood version:

This isn’t much better, since the Pope’s latest commitment to communicating life involves avoiding charges that he reinstated public status to a cardinal credibly accused of preying on seminarians as well as male minors. – READ MORE

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