Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation
Justice, Peace, Integrity<br /> of Creation

The evangelisation of ecology

In Terris 20.05.2024 Mons. Mario Toso Translated by: Jpic-jp.org

That we become aware of the universal destination of goods, of the common good, of integral, sustainable, inclusive development is good news. Moreover, that there is therefore ‘ecological sin’, articulated in three relationships against creation, people and God. Such a sin must be taken seriously and pointed out in the Christian conscience formation, in catechesis, in the forms for the examination of conscience.

The evangelisation of ecology must help, in the light of the gospel of creation and redemption, i.e. in the light of a religious outlook, to understand that the ecological question is an integral issue. That is, it concerns not only economic, technical biological, but also anthropological, ethical, spiritual and cultural aspects. For which its solution will depend on an approach that is not only phenomenological: economic, technical, biological, climatic, but also on a cultural change, of the heart, on the part of man and peoples. It will depend on the acquisition of the first ecological principle, which is that of integral ecology - a concept which is the fruit of a Christian approach - from a theocentric anthropology, by a moral conversion.

The religion of the ego, according to which man is God, leads inevitably towards a deviant anthropology, to an indiscriminate use of creation and of new technologies, absolutizing them. Creation is not at the service of technology, but must be the opposite. Thus the evangelisation of ecology, based on a theological outlook, is called to make people understand that the ecological question implies interdependence and oneness between people, peoples and creation. Interdependence and oneness constitute the ontological and practical foundation of integral ecology.

All creatures, as taught by St Francis of Assisi, are sisters, given their common origin. That which harms one, harms all the others at the same time. That which destroys them offends the One who brought them into being. What is a crime against nature, as well pointed out by Patriarch Bartholomew, is a crime against people, as well as being a sin against God. By virtue of this, the evangelization of ecology and related pastoral care are called upon to emphasise - as what happened in the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian region, celebrated in the Vatican in October 2019- that ecological sin exists, articulated according to three relationships: against creation, people and God.

Such a sin must be taken seriously and pointed out in the formation of the Christian conscience, in catechesis, in the forms for the examination of conscience in view of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Furthermore, it will be the task of evangelisation and pastoral care to emphasise that the ecological question is a question of justice, indeed, ecological (degradation of ecosystems) and social justice (ecological debt between countries, lack of intergenerational solidarity, growing impoverishment of weaker populations). Such a question of justice arises because of the interdependence and complementarity between people, peoples and creation.

It will be the task of evangelisation and of ecological pastoral care to enable believers in that method of analysing the ecological question, in all its complexity. That method is called the method of discernment, which structures the encyclical itself and consists of four moments (seeing, judging, acting, celebrating), connected to each other, and must be implemented not only by adhering to phenomenological, quantitative, statistical, biological, technical criteria, but by including in them theological, anthropological, ethical and cultural criteria, anthropological, ethical, cultural criteria. Suffice it to mention the principles of the universal destination of goods, of the common good, of integral, sustainable inclusive development.

See, L’evangelizzazione dell’ecologia

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The comments from our readers (2)

Paul Attard 20.06.2024 It’s a pity that the author of the article didn’t give a few examples of what he means by “evangelisation of ecology”.
Bernard Farine 20.06.2024 Outre que je ne suis pas un adepte de bâtir une l'évangélisation de l'écologie sur la notion de péché et que le "formulaire d'examen de conscience" m'a un peu amusé, je trouve que le texte affiche une dichotomie simpliste entre foi chrétienne et égoïsme. Je pense qu'on peut être non chrétien, et même athée, et altruiste. Nombre de ces incroyants ont approuvé l'approche de l'écologie intégrale dans sa dimension sociale, éthique et politique sans pour autant partager l'aspect religieux