Laudato Si 112: Technology Serving People

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

112. Yet we can once more broaden our vision. We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology; we can put it at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral.

This is a laudable aspiration. The challenge is not to replace one flawed paradigm with another. The following reflection suggests the optimal life is one lived in moderation. And seeing that technology–or any approach–serves people rather than slots people into serving a dominant model.

Liberation from the dominant technocratic paradigm does in fact happen sometimes, for example, when cooperatives of small producers adopt less polluting means of production, and opt for a non-consumerist model of life, recreation and community. Or when technology is directed primarily to resolving people’s concrete problems, truly helping them live with more dignity and less suffering. Or indeed when the desire to create and contemplate beauty manages to overcome reductionism through a kind of salvation which occurs in beauty and in those who behold it. An authentic humanity, calling for a new synthesis, seems to dwell in the midst of our technological culture, almost unnoticed, like a mist seeping gently beneath a closed door. Will the promise last, in spite of everything, with all that is authentic rising up in stubborn resistance?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Laudato Si 112: Technology Serving People

  1. Mark Rotherham says:

    This iconic photograph, taken by the crew of Apollo 8 on Christmas Eve 1968, fulfilled a prediction made by the British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle exactly twenty years earlier: “when a photograph of the Earth taken from the outside becomes available, a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.”

    Addressed to every person on Earth, that powerful idea has been magnificently expressed and let loose in Pope Francis’ letter, Laudato Si’. Specifically, that powerful idea is called Integral Ecology.

    When we viewed the Earth for the first time in its entirety, floating in the vastness of space, it became clear that the Earth is our common home and mother to all peoples, all creatures and with whom we share a common destiny.

    What that destiny will be has yet to be decided – by our actions over the coming years. We have a unique and unprecedented responsibility. Laudato Si’ is a beautiful act of leadership from the Catholic Church attempting to steer us towards a common destiny in which an authentic humanity, ecologically converted, lives in relational love with all of Creation.

    Committing ourselves as never before to such flourishing of life is our holiest praise of God through Christ – resurrected and embodied in every living being, rock, tree, element, ecosystem; in every mystery and detail of Creation.

  2. Pingback: Resolutions, Over and Over | Catholic Sensibility

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