Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Tourism enables people to use part of their free time to contemplate the goodness and beauty of God in His creation and through contact with others, helps to intensify mutual dialogue and acquaintance. Thus free time and tourism can compensate for the lack of human contact that is often felt in daily life.
Sacred Scripture considers the experience of travel a special opportunity to acquire knowledge and wisdom, since it puts the person in touch with different peoples, cultures, customs, and lands.
In Genesis, in the renewing vision of the Prophets, in the wise contemplation of Job and of the author of the Book of Wisdom as well as in the faith experiences witnessed in the Psalms, the beauty of creation is a sign that reveals God's greatness and goodness.
In His parables, Jesus invites people to contemplate the nature that surrounds them to learn that confidence in the heavenly Father must be total (cf. Lk 12:22-28) and faith must be constant (cf. Lk 17:6).
An intelligent brand of tourism tends to appreciate the beauty of nature and directs people to approach it with respect and to enjoy it without altering its balance.
We should favor forms of tourism that show greater respect for the environment, greater moderation in their use of natural resources and greater solidarity with local cultures.
This type of tourism implies a strong ethical motivation based on the norm that the environment is everyone's home and that the good of nature is destined for everyone who enjoys it now and in the generations to come.
I ... especially address Christians to ask them to make tourism another opportunity for the contemplation and encounter with God, Creator and Father of all. May they be strengthened in their service to justice and peace, faithful to the One Who promised new heavens and a new earth...
(Source: Message for World Tourism Day, September 27, 2002, issued June 24, 2002)
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com