Laudato Si 61: Hope

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. Chapter One ends with an oft-quoted line, that the Church has no “definitive opinion” on specifics, but offers hope despite the planet and many of its people having reached a point of crisis:

61. On many concrete questions, the Church has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she knows that honest debate must be encouraged among experts, while respecting divergent views. But we need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair. Hope would have us recognize that there is always a way out, that we can always redirect our steps, that we can always do something to solve our problems. Still, we can see signs that things are now reaching a breaking point, due to the rapid pace of change and degradation; these are evident in large-scale natural disasters as well as social and even financial crises, for the world’s problems cannot be analyzed or explained in isolation. There are regions now at high risk and, aside from all doomsday predictions, the present world system is certainly unsustainable from a number of points of view, for we have stopped thinking about the goals of human activity. “If we scan the regions of our planet, we immediately see that humanity has disappointed God’s expectations”.[John Paul II, Catechesis (17 January 2001), 3: Insegnamenti 24/1 (2001), 178]

Fair assessment, do you think? Alarmist? Going too far, or perhaps not far enough?

About catholicsensibility

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