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    Leonardo Boff: "Humanity Has to Change Its Relationship with Mother Nature"
    Santo Domingo, February 16, 2016

    Brazilian theologian, philosopher, writer, teacher, former priest and environmentalist Leonardo Boff, warned today that humans have to change their mind set and heart and recover their capacity to feel the pain of nature, because "if we don't change, for Mother Nature it will be too late". He criticized that the human being is seen only as a production entity, without the ability to change the world.

    Boff, who presented the conference "Education for Sustainable Development" in the Salon Ercilia Pepin, at the Ministry of Education (MINERD for its acronym in Spanish), activity that was presided by Minister Carlos Amarante Baret, acknowledging that "what we need is education", said that this alone will not change the man who attacks Mother Nature, because "neither school nor education change the world, they change the people that will change it".

    Before a select group headed by Amarante Baret, Deputy Ministers and Officials of the Ministry of Education and special guests, including Melba Grullón, President of the Sur Futuro Foundation, the Brazilian visitor said that humanity is forced to "relearn", because the planet is exposed to great challenges, including global warming.

    "We need to change, we need to ensure the future," he insisted over and over again, because "there is a common responsibility and we need to reach a sustainable mode of survival; It's about finding another way of inhabiting the planet".

    Boff, who in his time as priest was promoter of the theory of liberation, recalled Pope Francis, evoking his words that "the poor are those who represent Christ".

    The Main Issue It was considered that the main problem facing humanity is that "we have developed the head too much; we have a very skinny body and tiny heart". Boff emphasized that rescuing our mind and heart means seeing the suffering of Earth, and working for the rescue of Mother Nature.

    "We are in a blind path, where we do not know where we are going," he specified, and added that we must make "green" all corners of the Earth and take education as an essential element to achieve that purpose.

    The educator and professor of important Brazilian, American and European universities proclaimed that "what we need is education", and launched the theory that the new pedagogy changes the learning methods, and criticized that schools and universities in modern times have been converted to "breeding machines of the old model".

    He warned that time ends and much wisdom is needed, because "the misfortune is that we have great men or great sages (Pope Francis among them), but the politicians are the administrators of the crisis".

    The discussion with the theologian, philosopher, writer, teacher, ecologist and former Brazilian priest Leonardo Boff began precisely at 9:20am and lasted until past noon, offering the audience the opportunity to ask questions and clarify concepts about his theories. Boff was accompanied by his wife Marcia Maria Monteiro de Miranda.

    The activity was attended by guests from private institutions, as well as Brazilian officials, such as Horacio Figueiredo Júnior, Chief of staff of the National Agency of Waters; Ana Elena Rizzone de Sousa Vale, Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Brazilian Cooperation Agency; Jair Kotz, Superintendent of Environment of Itaipu Binacional; Pawel Wicheteck, Advisor to Itaipu International; Yovanny Melo, Director of Social Affairs; Felipe Ditrén, Director of Environment; Manuel García, responsible for the "Cultivating Good Water" program.

    Boff, descendant of Italians, was born in Concordia, Brazil, on December 14, 1938. He studied philosophy in Curitiba and theology in Petropolis. In 1970 he obtained his doctorate in theology and philosophy at the University of Munich, Germany. He joined the Order of Franciscan Friars Minor, in 1959.

    For 22 years he was Professor of Systematic and Ecumenical Theology in the Franciscan Theological Institute of Petropolis, Professor of Theology and Spirituality in various academic institutions and universities in Brazil and abroad, and a visiting professor at the University of Lisbon (Portugal), Salamanca (Spain), Harvard (USA), Basel (Switzerland) and Heidelberg (Germany).

    Cynical Culture "Our culture is cynical, has lost its heart and cannot cry, because crying means feeling the pain of others. It has no compassion. It has nothing of that, it doesn’t even love people, loves the brain, loves what is productive, even people do not matter", said the theologian.

    The former priest and Brazilian environmentalist called to relearn and reinvent mankind, because the type of man that we have introduced to society with the classical educational methods, is not enough anymore, something more should be added. At the end of the talk, the student Nicaurys Segura Montero presented to Boff a plaque made with recycled materials, with a message from Pope Francis.

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