Laudato Si 162: Decline in Ethics and Culture

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. Pope Francis places the environmental crisis as an ethical fault:

162. Our difficulty in taking up this challenge seriously has much to do with an ethical and cultural decline which has accompanied the deterioration of the environment.

Individualism is cited. A badge some wear proudly, and many conservative Christians must surely wonder about, as certain secular conservative values are at odds with a moral lifestyle:

Men and women of our postmodern world run the risk of rampant individualism, and many problems of society are connected with today’s self-centered culture of instant gratification.

Instant gratification sabotages the best of human culture:

We see this in the crisis of family and social ties and the difficulties of recognizing the other. Parents can be prone to impulsive and wasteful consumption, which then affects their children who find it increasingly difficult to acquire a home of their own and build a family. Furthermore, our inability to think seriously about future generations is linked to our inability to broaden the scope of our present interests and to give consideration to those who remain excluded from development. Let us not only keep the poor of the future in mind, but also today’s poor, whose life on this earth is brief and who cannot keep on waiting. Hence, “in addition to a fairer sense of intergenerational solidarity there is also an urgent moral need for a renewed sense of intragenerational solidarity”.[Benedict XVI, Message for the 2010 World Day of Peace, 8: AAS 102 (2010), 45]

Today’s last word in chapter four comes from our previous pope. Have you any comment to add atop that?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Laudato Si 162: Decline in Ethics and Culture

  1. Atheist Max says:

    None of it makes sense.

    “… has much to do with an ethical and cultural decline which has accompanied the deterioration of the environment.”
    What ethical decline? The extraordinary attention to the environment as called for by people like Jacques Cousteau and even Al Gore for decades is woefully overdue and it represents an elevation of ethics – not a decline. Germany will be 100% carbon free within our lifetime. How is this a sign of ethical decline?

    “Men and women of our postmodern world run the risk of rampant individualism, and many problems of society are connected with today’s self-centered culture of instant gratification.”
    I cannot be alone in seeing a lot of hate in that broadside against humanity! As well as the pot calling the kettle black. Agreeing to absolution from all one’s bad choices in life by just ‘saying the word’ has always struck me as the most glaring ‘instant gratification’ ever invented.

    “We see this in the crisis of family and social ties and the difficulties of recognizing the other.”
    This is just outrageous.
    Even by 2010 there had been an explosion of acceptance regarding homosexual rights, gay marriage, lesbians, bi-gendered, trans and now the ‘black lives matter’ campaign. The ‘n’ word is finally forbidden in decent company. I’ve never seen so much acceptance in my life. Thank goodness. I don’t know what the church is complaining about – have they forgotten the 50’s and 60s?

    “Parents can be prone to impulsive and wasteful consumption…”
    Another lazy broadside full of contempt and hate for a group of people; namely parents. If priests had kids they wouldn’t be so hateful toward parents. As a parent, it isn’t easy raising kids and all parents try to do the right things. And this rich nonsense from a church which is okay with the immorality of banning gay children from their homes and families? Gays nationwide suffer from the consequence of bigoted Christian teachings.
    I am frequently told I can’t speak of religion because I’m no longer religious. By that logic a priest should say nothing about parenting. Ever. They know nothing about it.

    “…affects their children who find it increasingly difficult to acquire a home of their own and build a family.”
    Talk about dots which don’t connect. We are a country without decent jobs. It really is that simple. A Pope has nothing to offer on economic policies. Good grief.

    “our inability to think seriously about future generations is linked to our inability to broaden the scope of our present interests and to give consideration to those who remain excluded from development.”
    No. Our inability to deal real problems comes from too many in the society rejecting science. The evidence is conclusive – we need sustainable energy policy for future generations to succeed. Creationists, Dominionists and countless other religionists proclaim they’d rather just have ‘Armageddon Jesus’ to solve these problems with global destruction. It is a depravity.

    “Let us not only keep the poor of the future in mind, but also today’s poor, whose life on this earth is brief and who cannot keep on waiting.”
    Again, two things destroy poverty: Jobs and the Emancipation of Women. The church thrives on opposing both. China and India have brought millions out of poverty by increasing production through capitalism and wealth distribution. The price for that is an environmental catastrophe – the same thing the Pope says he doesn’t want. The only solution then is to improve sustainable technology as Germany, Denmark and other countries are doing.

    “in addition to a fairer sense of intergenerational solidarity there is also an urgent moral need for a renewed sense of intragenerational solidarity”.
    That is just a Word salad. Completely meaningless. Good grief.

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