Laudato Si 161: Taking Doomsday Seriously

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

161. Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain. We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth. The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes, such as those which even now periodically occur in different areas of the world. The effects of the present imbalance can only be reduced by our decisive action, here and now. We need to reflect on our accountability before those who will have to endure the dire consequences.

The last century has certainly prepared the human race for the possibility of worldwide disaster. First world wars, then a cold war with nuclear overtones. I remember how scornfully the concept of nuclear winter was dismissed in some quarters in the 80’s. A minority are invested in maintaining the status quo: profits and power with no regard for the world’s children and generations beyond that.

About catholicsensibility

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