Pope Tells Parents And Kids: Get Outside!


The hugely popular movement to re-connect children with nature has reached the Pope!

Pope Benedict XVI is encouraging parents to teach their children to value nature. The Pope made his plea on Sunday, July 10, after praying the midday Angelus with pilgrims gathered at the summer papal residence at Castel Gandolfo.

Contemplate The Splendors Of Creation

As first reported in Zenit, in speaking to the French-speaking faithful, he said,

“I would like to recommend that during this time of vacation, you revivify your spirits by contemplating the splendors of Creation.”

Teach Your Children To See Nature

“Parents,” he said, “teach your children to see nature, respect and protect it as a magnificent gift that presents to us the grandeur of the Creator!”

Alluding to the Gospel for that day, in which Jesus proclaims the parable of the sower, the Holy Father added that with parables, “Jesus used the language of nature to explain to his disciples the mysteries of the Kingdom.”

“May the images he uses become familiar to us,” he said. “Let us remember that the divine reality is hidden in our daily lives like the seed in the soil. May it bear fruit in us! I wish you all a good Sunday!”

As the author of Get Out!, a book packed with ideas to get our kids off the couch and into the Great Outdoors, I believe strongly that it’s important for all of us to be connected with nature. And I am thrilled that Pope Benedict is embracing the same cause!

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Photo Credit: Beyond Forgetting via Creative Commons


William C
William C2 months ago


W. C
W. C2 months ago

Thank you for the article.

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn6 years ago

families definitly need to spend outdoors we are made for it....................people have fun indoors but generally i have more fun outside these days and also when i was a kid too

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal6 years ago

Thank you Ratzinger for reminding our children to play outside. Parents, be careful about inviting the (alleged pedophile) priest to join in the family outing....

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

Oh, and btw, I also help coach my son's baseball team during the summer, take him to equine therapy sessions, and to the parks with rivers so he can explore. Other relatives have also taken him kayaking along the rivers here locally, and we've taken trips to other nature centers as well as teaching centers for wildlife.

Yet how many times has the Catholic Church sweep under the carpet the cases of child abuse, sex abuse against our youth, and sexual harassment of our women? And the Pope wants to lecture US about spending quality time with our children enjoying God's green earth? Well, how about PROTECTING those children from those who prey on them, rather than allowing sex abusers get transferred just to assault more children! When they are all safe THEN come talk to me about it.

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

Well, put it this way... MY 11 year old is already a jr. entomologist. He knows about all the bugs, critters, etc... He gets the facts from Animal Planet, magazine subscriptions, library books, and going outside to catch bugs in his terrarium to observe. My boy also knows a lot about sea animals big and small, and a lot about nature. Need I say more?

And of course, I'm being told what to do as a parent by a guy whose never been nor ever will be married, and has a snowballs chance on the equator to ever have children... Irony, at it's best. Don't you just love the pope?

Anja N.
Justin R6 years ago

Sad if someone else has to tell parents the obvious.

Lorna M.
Lorna M6 years ago

This coming from the head of the catholic church. I'm all for showing our kids the importance of appreciating God's creations, but what about the children that suffer at the hands of catholic priests? God help them.

Nelson Petrie
Nelson Petrie6 years ago

It's really nice for a change to hear a religious figure like the Pope speaking of nature and encouraging people to go out and appreciate its beauty. Not many religious leaders talk like this. The far-right evangelicals show their utter disregard and distrust of nature any anything natural. They would rather back the greedy, profiteering companies whose only aim is to exploit the natural resources to the fullest. I now regard this Pope with great respect.

Anne-Marie V.
Anne-Marie Vogl6 years ago

Many Thanks!!!