Laudato Si 59: Human Denial

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. As we draw near to the end of this first section, the questions come to the fore. How bad is it? Have we duped ourselves into a certain complacency?

59. At the same time we can note the rise of a false or superficial ecology which bolsters complacency and a cheerful recklessness. As often occurs in periods of deep crisis which require bold decisions, we are tempted to think that what is happening is not entirely clear.

One very human aspect of the current situation is the unwillingness to “accompany” those with different opinions, assessments, or experiences. The attempt “not to see” is reinforced with cautious and careful patterns of socializing. We can continue as we have in the past, and our consciences can become clouded:

Superficially, apart from a few obvious signs of pollution and deterioration, things do not look that serious, and the planet could continue as it is for some time. Such evasiveness serves as a licence to carrying on with our present lifestyles and models of production and consumption. This is the way human beings contrive to feed their self-destructive vices: trying not to see them, trying not to acknowledge them, delaying the important decisions and pretending that nothing will happen.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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