Laudato Si 79: Evolution, Positive and Otherwise

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. It is interesting to read of relationships and participation as leading us to a transcendant God:

79. In this universe, shaped by open and intercommunicating systems, we can discern countless forms of relationship and participation. This leads us to think of the whole as open to God’s transcendence, within which it develops. Faith allows us to interpret the meaning and the mysterious beauty of what is unfolding. We are free to apply our intelligence towards things evolving positively, or towards adding new ills, new causes of suffering and real setbacks.

Human beings certainly influence evolution in the natural world. Can we expect to move things in a fruitful direction, or are we doomed to inflict an inevitable spoilage? Are we just fodder for excited observers?

This is what makes for the excitement and drama of human history, in which freedom, growth, salvation and love can blossom, or lead towards decadence and mutual destruction. The work of the Church seeks not only to remind everyone of the duty to care for nature, but at the same time “she must above all protect (humankind) from self-destruction”.[Caritas in Veritate 51]

Pope Benedict’s reflections on the care for creation in his encyclical are worth a review. Pope Francis isn’t just lifted a quote out of context.


About catholicsensibility

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