Laudato Si 118: Schizophrenia

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. Do you agree with Pope Francis labeling what seem to be competing ideological/political stances as bedfellows?

118. This situation has led to a constant schizophrenia, wherein a technocracy which sees no intrinsic value in lesser beings coexists with the other extreme, which sees no special value in human beings. But one cannot prescind from humanity. There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself. There can be no ecology without an adequate anthropology.

Are these really related? What does the pope emeritus say about it?

When the human person is considered as simply one being among others, the product of chance or physical determinism, then “our overall sense of responsibility wanes”.[Benedict XVI, Message for the 2010 World Day of Peace, 2: AAS 102 (2010), 41] A misguided anthropocentrism need not necessarily yield to “biocentrism,” for that would entail adding yet another imbalance, failing to solve present problems and adding new ones. Human beings cannot be expected to feel responsibility for the world unless, at the same time, their unique capacities of knowledge, will, freedom and responsibility are recognized and valued.

Human beings have value, certainly. But with this honor also comes responsibility.

About catholicsensibility

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