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As commentators assess the legacy left behind by Pope John Paul II, they will surely note with interest the contributions he made to the advancement of Catholic social thought with respect to the necessity for careful stewardship of creation and the link that exists between ecological concerns and genuine human development. How, his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, faces a world in which ecological concerns persist and pressures for solutions continue. This paper explores the writings of Pope Benedict XVI to ascertain the ways in which he may approach the environmental questions of the modern world. In his theological writings prior to his papal election, he articulated an intricate and thoughtful reflection on the created world and the responsibility of humanity to the created world. The paper focuses on four principal themes expressed repeatedly by Pope Benedict that are likely to provide the basic framework for his approach to environmental responsibility in the twenty-first century.



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