CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 9 December 2017

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No spurts from Vatican fountains

VATICAN (SE): The famous fountains sprinkled around the Vatican Gardens are running dry this summer. Pope Francis has ordered them to be turned off, as Italy swelters through one of its driest summers for many years.
 
Vatican Radio reports that what is being described as the country’s third longest drought in 60 years has cost Italian agriculture some US$2.3 billion ($17.85 billion).
 
There are approximately 100 fountains in the Vatican Gardens, including two baroque masterpieces. Vatican spokesperson, Greg Burke, told Reuters no one in the Vatican can remember the last time the fountains were turned off.
 
“This decision is very much in line with the pope’s thinking on ecology: you can’t waste and sometimes you have to be willing to make a sacrifice,” Burke explained.
 
Vatican Radio quoted Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, Praise Be: On care for our common home (Laudato Si’) as recalling “how the habit of wasting and throwing away things has reached unheard of levels, while clean drinking water represents a matter of primary importance because it is indispensable for human life and for supporting ecosystems on land and sea.”
 
The city council has also cut the supply to some of Rome’s famous water fonts and, although the weather remains hot, drinking fountains. The city is expecting to have water rationing imposed unless there is a break in the drought soon.

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