Safeguarding the Environment

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					Safeguarding the                  “Christian culture has always    that an uneven distribution
                                  recognized the creatures that    of the population and of
Environment                       surround man as also gifts of    available resources creates
As per Chapter 10 of the          God to be nurtured and           obstacles to development
Compendium of the Social          safeguarded with a sense of      and a sustainable use of the
Doctrine of the Church, “Only     gratitude to the Creator....     environment,     it    must
man and woman, among all                                           nonetheless be recognized
creatures, were made by God       “nature is not a sacred or       that demographic growth is
'in his own image' (Gen           divine reality that man must     fully compatible with an
1,27)....The biblical vision      leave alone. Rather, it is a     integral     and     shared
inspires the behaviour of         gift offered by the Creator to   development….
Christians in relation to their   the human community….
use of the earth, and also                                         “Inadequate access to safe
with regard to the advances       “the goods of the earth were     drinking water affects the
of science and technology....     created by God to be used        well-being of a huge number
                                  wisely by all. They must be      of people and is often the
“A correct understanding of       shared      equitably,    in     cause of disease, suffering,
the environment prevents          accordance with justice and      conflicts, poverty and even
the utilitarian reduction of      charity....                      death....the right to safe
nature to a mere object to be                                      drinking water is a universal
manipulated and exploited.        “The close link that exists      and inalienable right.
At the same time, it must not     between the development of
absolutize nature and place it    the    poorest     countries,    "lifestyles should be inspired
above the dignity of the          demographic changes and a        by sobriety, temperance, and
human person himself….            sustainable use of the           self-discipline at both the
                                  environment     must      not    individual and social levels”
                                  become a pretext for political
                                  and economic choices that
                                  are at variance with the
                                  dignity of     the human
                                  person…. Although it is true
"a correct understanding
of the relationship
between man & 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 & worth
between the human
person & 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" (Pope Benedict
XVI’s Message for the
2010 World Day of Peace)

				
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posted:5/30/2010
language:English
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