VATICAN CITY — Nov 8, 2018, 7:33 AM ET

Pope: Safe drinking water is a human right, not merchandise


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Pope Francis has affirmed that access to clean water is a human right and that it's "enormously shameful" that millions of people get sick and die each year for lack of it.

In a message to a water management conference Thursday, Francis lamented that war, corruption and financial interests often get in the way of providing universal access to clean water for all.

He said recognition of access to clean water as a basic human right is "incompatible" with the concept of water as merchandise to be bought and sold.

The United Nations first recognized the legal right to safe drinking water in 2010. The U.N. says poverty, pollution and climate change are depleting water resources globally, with some 884 million people without access to improved sources of drinking water.

News - Pope: Safe drinking water is a human right, not merchandise

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  • murray

    so are minors and females from parish priests. needs attention first.

  • ReviewTheFacts

    Perhaps the Pope can nudge the Federal Government to revise the "clean air act," (which allowed more pollution to be put into the watershed, and to change the Environmental Pollution Agency back into the Environmental Protection Agency. While he's at it, he should try to get the oil industry to stop fracking and storing their expired fracking fluid (and it's accompanying cancer causing toxins) over aquifers, on farmland, and under cities where it is kept in leaking tanks.

  • Joie Balke

    I think the only right a person doesn't have these days is the right to own a gun, and the right to be a Christian.

  • Jiba

    What was the question?

  • Henrik Moller

    So maybe the the Catholic Church can sell off the billions of dollars in artwork it keeps in its museums and use the proceeds to pay for all the wells, pipes, water filtration plants, pumps and everything else to provide all that "free" water.

  • Chuckie M

    Not in the US of A, just ask anyone in Flint Michigan. Thanks EPA for doing an excellent job.

  • Bongs&Thongs

    im talking to you flint

  • Weather3014

    How about not being abused as a child? Is that a human right?

  • rightened

    TOM JOHNSON | JUNE 28, 2017 - "Federal repeal likely to affect New Jersey by eroding protections for headwaters that feed the drinking-water supply, small wetlands. "The Trump administration yesterday formally began the process of repealing a rule that extended protections to small streams and wetlands, a step environmentalists warned could degrade water quality in New Jersey and elsewhere around the nation. The proposal, announced by the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Administrator Scott Pruitt during a congressional hearing, would fulfill a campaign promise by the president during his campaign last year to replace the “waters of the United States’’ rule."

  • ha

    evidently it's not a right in a capitalist country

  • foldincaulfield

    A sad world where we need to have the Pope reminding us of that fact.

  • ShawnLetwin

    Bravo! Bravo Pope!!

    Now just divest the church of its centuries old riches in order to help pay for maintaining this basic right...of course right after you pay your legal fees/settlements related to the charges brought onto the church by all of the "men of the cloth-pedophiles".

    Look forward to when the church lets all parishioners that are young and male enjoy their basic human rights of not being sexually assaulted.

  • disqus_pSTgnRenk7

    Why would people stop having babies when welfare pays them to have more? Makes no sense

  • Outlaw

    Sure it is. Imagine if instead of having to pay victims of molestation, the church used those hundreds of millions of dollars to provide clean water. I guess that's what happens when you choose to molest over helping others.

  • Robert Earnest

    While that is a noble thought, overpopulation is the primary cause of unsafe drinking water and church policy forbids any attempt to control population. So methinks the Pope is a hypocrite.

  • Noon

    And as our country pulled out of the Paris Agreement about climate change, the world is facing a future of worse and worse droughts. A huge facet of lack of access to clean water.

  • AwfHand

    Hey Pope, you know what I find "enormously shameful"? The photos my wife took when she was on a medical mission trip to Ecuador. Care to guess what the church looked like in the third world village where she and her surgical group stayed?
    Gilded alters, beautiful woodwork, alabaster and marble everywhere.
    Meanwhile the people in the village are being treated for intestinal parasites, as livestock walks in the stream where laundry is washed and drinking water is collected.
    Tell me again what the Catholic church is doing about this.

  • Dennis Morris

    Such an imperative, universal issue - safe drinking water. Wonderful Pope Francis is weighing in on this matter of vital importance as a human right.