Laudato Si 152: On Housing

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. People have to live, to have a place to rest their heads at night, to eat, to conduct the affairs of family and leisure. Otherwise, the powers that be are mainly concerned with people as cogs in the machines of commerce and nothing more.

152. Lack of housing is a grave problem in many parts of the world, both in rural areas and in large cities, since state budgets usually cover only a small portion of the demand. Not only the poor, but many other members of society as well, find it difficult to own a home. Having a home has much to do with a sense of personal dignity and the growth of families. This is a major issue for human ecology. In some places, where makeshift shanty towns have sprung up, this will mean developing those neighborhoods rather than razing or displacing them. When the poor live in unsanitary slums or in dangerous tenements, “in cases where it is necessary to relocate them, in order not to heap suffering upon suffering, adequate information needs to be given beforehand, with choices of decent housing offered, and the people directly involved must be part of the process”.[Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church 482]

Another citation from the previous encyclical:

At the same time, creativity should be shown in integrating rundown neighborhoods into a welcoming city: “How beautiful those cities which overcome paralyzing mistrust, integrate those who are different and make this very integration a new factor of development! How attractive are those cities which, even in their architectural design, are full of spaces which connect, relate and favor the recognition of others!”[Evangelii Gaudium 210]

About catholicsensibility

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