Friday, January 5, 2007

The Church Is Green

John Allen (hat tip to Vitus Speaks) points out that the environment was a big topic in the recent meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Turkey, which may come as a surprise to some. However, both religious leaders have taken strong positions on this world crisis.

In 2002 the patriarch admonished:
We are to practice a voluntary self-limitation in our consumption of food and natural resources. Each of us is called to make the crucial distinction between what we want and what we need. Only through such self-denial, through our willingness sometimes to forgo and to say, "no" or "enough," will we rediscover our true human place in the universe.
The Holy Father's Message for World Peace 2007 has been released, the yearly state of the world address on New Year's Day, and there he emphasizes the need for wise use of creation's resources.
Alongside the ecology of nature, there exists what can be called a “human” ecology, which in turn demands a “social” ecology. All this means that humanity, if it truly desires peace, must be increasingly conscious of the links between natural ecology, or respect for nature, and human ecology. Experience shows that disregard for the environment always harms human coexistence, and vice versa. It becomes more and more evident that there is an inseparable link between peace with creation and peace among men. Both of these presuppose peace with God. The poem-prayer of Saint Francis, known as “the Canticle of Brother Sun”, is a wonderful and ever timely example of this multifaceted ecology of peace.
The problem of justice is directly linked to this stewardship, as Pope Benedict goes on to point out in the particulars of our time. The scramble for energy sources leaves poor countries behind, incites conflicts and ravishishes the earth.
The destruction of the environment, its improper or selfish use, and the violent hoarding of the earth's resources cause grievances, conflicts and wars, precisely because they are the consequences of an inhumane concept of development. Indeed, if development were limited to the technical-economic aspect, obscuring the moral-religious dimension, it would not be an integral human development, but a one-sided distortion which would end up by unleashing man's destructive capacities.
Again, our customary division between faith and reason leads us to pass over real solutions. Our technology is running far ahead of us, and without this "moral-religious dimension" governing human actions, we risk to literally destroy our world.

Originally published at Clairity's Place.

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