Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletOctober 20, 2019

Earth Concerns News

Pope Benedict's Peace Message Reinforces Obligation to Care for Creation

Pope Benedict XVI’s 2010 Message for the World Day of Peace, “If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation,” is the latest in a long tradition of Church teaching on our obligation to care for creation. Quoting Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI throughout his message, the Holy Father affirms that environmental degradation is “a wide-ranging social problem which concerns the entire human family” (# 3). Some themes and excerpts from this statement are provided below:

“Creation helps us to recognize our human dignity and God’s love. “Seeing creation as God’s gift to humanity helps us understand our vocation and worth as human beings Contemplating the beauty of creation inspires us to recognize the love of the Creator” (# 2).
“We have failed to carry out our role as steward. “The true meaning of God’s original command was not a simple conferral of authority, but rather a summons to responsibility. Nature is a gift of the Creator, who enabled man to draw from it the principles needed to ‘till it and keep it’ (cf. Gen. 2:15). Everything that exists belongs to God, who has entrusted it to man” (# 6).
“We have misused the Earth’s resources and broken the covenant. “Man’s inhumanity to man has given rise to numerous threats to peace and development. Yet no less troubling are the threats arising from the neglect – if not downright misuse – of the Earth and the natural goods that God has given us” (# 1).
“Our choices have impacted our brothers and sisters across the globe. It is all too evident that large numbers of people in different countries and areas of our planet are experiencing increased hardship because of the negligence or refusal of many others to exercise responsible stewardship over the environment” (# 7).
“There is an urgent moral need for solidarity with creation and those affected by climate change. Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change, desertification, the deterioration and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas? Can we disregard the growing phenomenon of “environmental refugees”? Can we remain impassive in the face of actual and potential conflicts involving access to natural resources?” (# 4)
Click HERE for the full text of the message.
Click HERE for resources for reflection.