Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pope, Sustainability, Peace

I probably neglect sustainability (or environmental issues) too often on this blog. Thankfully, Pope Benedict seems to be keeping up with the issue. His peace day message for January 1st was released to the press yesterday. His theme this year is the environment and our proper stewardship of it, which has been greatly lacking. As Catholics, we are told that we cannot sit idly by and pretend that issues of climate change, desertification, erosion of farming lands, pollution of rivers and drinking water, loss of biodiversity, and deforestation are not our responsibility. As Church, we have a responsibility to protect the environment because it is God's gift to us that needs to also sustain future generations.

The name of this document is: "If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation." Here is a link to it. It also has great terms like "intergenerational solidarity." It is really a wonderful document that stresses the special relationship between God, humanity, and the rest of God's creation. He states that the current neglect of this relationship is leading to a loss of human dignity with such things as environmental refugees and will lead to future violent conflicts if we do not change our current practices.

Good job Benedict. We need this document right now.

A Faithful Catholic


Terrence Berres said...

"It also has great terms like 'intergenerational solidarity.'"

Even though the members of future generations are not yet ensouled.

CatholicSoldier said...

That is the sad truth about the Progressive movement, they will embrace "intergenerational solidarity" when it suits them, otherwise they will continue with killing them off as part of their "intergenerational solidarity". The Progressives have use for the Pope (not Benedict, but Pope Benedict) when it supports their aims, otherwise, he's to be ignored.

Faithful Catholic said...

By your comments, CS, should I understand that you disagree with the Pope on the points that I listed?

CatholicSoldier said...


Not at all. We know you in fact disagree with intergenerational solidarity. That is undisputed. We certainly have a responsibility to steward creation, but not to the point that it becomes pre-eminent or superior to man:

"There exists a certain reciprocity: as we care for creation, we realize that God, through creation, cares for us. On the other hand, a correct understanding of the relationship between man and the environment will not end by absolutizing nature or by considering it more important than the human person. If the Church's magisterium expresses grave misgivings about notions of the environment inspired by ecocentrism and biocentrism, it is because such notions eliminate the difference of identity and worth between the human person and other living things. In the name of a supposedly egalitarian vision of the "dignity" of all living creatures, such notions end up abolishing the distinctiveness and superior role of human beings. They also open the way to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism, which would see the source of man's salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms."

“The Church has a responsibility towards creation, and she considers it her duty to exercise that responsibility in public life, in order to protect earth, water and air as gifts of God the Creator meant for everyone, and above all to save mankind from the danger of self-destruction. The degradation of nature is closely linked to the cultural models shaping human coexistence: consequently, "when ‘human ecology' is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits". Young people cannot be asked to respect the environment if they are not helped, within families and society as a whole, to respect themselves. The book of nature is one and indivisible; it includes not only the environment but also individual, family and social ethics. Our duties towards the environment flow from our duties towards the person, considered both individually and in relation to others."

We certainly have a responsibility to steward the environment. That being said, there is room to disagree on the means to achieve that end. I happen to be a skeptic on anthropocentric climate change (The Earth is old and the geological record indicates that we have had numerous warmings and coolings). Nonetheless, we should still reduce our emissions because it leads to cleaner air, but to do so, in the manner espoused by the religion of anthropocentric climate change, would in fact run against Catholic Social Justice because it denies the inherent worth of the individual, the family, and society.

So now, I do agree with the Pope that we need to care for Creation. What I was commenting on is how it is interesting how you will embrace the Pope when he suits your ideology, but for the most part, you ignore him or refuse to give him the proper respect by referring to him as Benedict over Pope Benedict or Benedict XVI.