Vatican, rabbis: Faith needed to confront technology

ROME (JTA) — A return to religious faith is needed to confront a "unique environmental crisis" brought on by technology, the Vatican and the Israeli Chief Rabbinate warned.

Wednesday’s warning came in a statement after the ninth meeting of the Bilateral Commission of the Holy See and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, held in Rome Jan. 17-20 following Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the main Rome synagogue on Sunday.

"Humankind today faces a unique environmental crisis which is substantially the product of unbridled material and technological exploitation," the statement said, adding that there is an "essential need for society to recognize the transcendent dimension of Creation that is critical to ensure sustainable development and progress in an ethically responsible manner."

During the meeting, the Rev. Patrick Desbois described to the commission his efforts to locate and memorialize the unidentified sites in Eastern Europe of mass murder during the Holocaust. The commission also urged the respective religious communities to support and publicize this "very important work."
 

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