Laudato Si 69: Being Trumps Usefulness

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. A consequence of human responsibility is that we are obliged to look a bit more deeply. In other words, we have intelligence, by the grace of God. We are obligated to use it.

69. Together with our obligation to use the earth’s goods responsibly, we are called to recognize that other living beings have a value of their own in God’s eyes: “by their mere existence they bless him and give him glory”,[CCC 2416] and indeed, “the Lord rejoices in all his works” (Ps 104:31). By virtue of our unique dignity and our gift of intelligence, we are called to respect creation and its inherent laws, for “the Lord by wisdom founded the earth” (Prov 3:19). In our time, the Church does not simply state that other creatures are completely subordinated to the good of human beings, as if they have no worth in themselves and can be treated as we wish. The German bishops have taught that, where other creatures are concerned, “we can speak of the priority of being over that of being useful”.[German Bishops’ Conference, Zukunft der Schöpfung – Zukunft der Menschheit. Einklärung der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz zu Fragen der Umwelt und der Energieversorgung, (1980), II, 2]

Universal teaching also rejects the exaltation of the utilitarian approach to the environment.

The Catechism clearly and forcefully criticizes a distorted anthropocentrism: “Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection… Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. (People) must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things”.[CCC 339]

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Laudato Si 69: Being Trumps Usefulness

  1. charlesincenca says:

    H-heh heh heh, Todd said “Trump!” Heh heh heh

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