July 11, 2009

Pope's Message on the Environment

Pope Benedict issued an Encyclical Letter "Caritas in Veritate" (Charity in Truth) where he addressed many critical issues facing humanity including hunger, economic systems and inter-generational justice. He made a called for strengthening the "covenant between human beings and the environment" as well as issuing a call for the creation of sustainable businesses.

The Pope's letter called for sustainable development in the broadest sense and addressed the human and environmental costs of continuing business as usual. He supported new businesses that "without rejecting profit, aim at a higher goal than the mere logic of the exchange of equivalents, of profit as an end in itself."

Here are some of his thoughts on the environment.

[We have] duties arising from our relationship to the natural environment. The environment is God's gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole.

At the same time we must recognize our grave duty to hand the earth on to future generations in such a condition that they too can worthily inhabit it and continue to cultivate it. This means being committed to making joint decisions "after pondering responsibly the road to be taken, decisions aimed at strengthening that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying"

The Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere. In so doing, she must defend not only earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to everyone. She must above all protect mankind from self-destruction.

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