Laudato Si 14: An Inclusive Conversation

Earth from Apollo 8Remember, the encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website.

After thanking people who do work on behalf of the planet, Pope Francis insists more people can be drawn into the conversation:

14. I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. The worldwide ecological movement has already made considerable progress and led to the establishment of numerous organizations committed to raising awareness of these challenges. Regrettably, many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more general lack of interest.

This reminder seems accurate. Not only do powerful opponents obstruct good work, but some succeed in diverting attention to trivial things.

Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions.

I’d say the number of deniers are shrinking. But some obstructionists are also short-sighted. They seem unwilling to look beyond today or their own interests and ignore the timetable of centuries.

We require a new and universal solidarity. As the bishops of Southern Africa have stated: “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation”. [SOUTHERN AFRICAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE, Pastoral Statement on the Environmental Crisis (5 September 1999)] All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.

And so all people must band together to address the problem. Not only talk, but work. Many parts must blend together. Thoughts?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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