View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pope Benedict Gets Environmental

At his general audience on Tuesday, Pope Benedict had some wonderful things to say about concern for the environment.

The Pope said we need to have "a correct relation with the environment," and we must consider "ourselves as stewards of (God's) creation."

"From this awareness, the Church considers questions linked to the environment and its safeguarding as profoundly linked with the topic of integral human development."

He then said, "Experiencing the shared responsibility for creation, the Church is not only committed to the promotion of the defense of the earth, of water and of air, given by the Creator to everyone, but above all is committed to protect man from the destruction of himself."

So basically he is continuing the human development thread developed in his latest encyclical. Care for and proper use of nature is an aspect of that development. At the same time, care for human development leads to respect for nature.

"When 'human ecology' is respected in society", he noted, "environmental ecology also benefits," adding that "inconsiderate use of creation begins where God is marginalized."

"Creation, matter structured in an intelligent manner by God, is entrusted to man's responsibility, who is able to interpret and refashion it actively, without regarding himself as the absolute owner."

We are called to use and shape nature, but in a responsible way.

“Creation," he said, "structured in an intelligent manner by God, is entrusted therefore to man, who is in a position to interpret it and actively remodel it without considering himself the absolute patron of it. Man is called, above all, to exercise responsible governance of it, cultivating it and finding necessary resources for a dignified existence of all.”

He said governments and the international community need to work together to preserve the environment.

“The protection of the environment, and the safeguarding of resources and of the climate, oblige all leaders to act jointly, respecting the law and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the world . Together we can build an integral human development beneficial for all peoples, present and future, a development inspired by the values of charity in truth.”

And he concluded by citing the patron saint of the environment, St. Francis.

“Dear brothers and sisters, may we thank the Lord and make ours the words of St. Francis in the Canticle of the Sun: ‘Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing…Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures.’ Such was St. Francis. May we also want to pray and live in the spirit of these words.”



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