8. Patriarch Bartholomew has spoken in particular of the need for each of us to repent of the ways we have harmed the planet, for “inasmuch as we all generate small ecological damage”, we are called to acknowledge “our contribution, smaller or greater, to the disfigurement and destruction of creation”. He has repeatedly stated this firmly and persuasively, challenging us to acknowledge our sins against creation: “For human beings… to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins”. For “to commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God”.
 Message for the Day of Prayer for the Protection of Creation (1 September 2012).
 Address in Santa Barbara, California (8 November 1997); cf. JOHN CHRYSSAVGIS, On Earth as in Heaven: Ecological Vision and Initiatives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Bronx, New York, 2012.