Laudato Si 179: Cooperating

Earth from Apollo 8The encyclical letter Laudato Si is available here on the Vatican website. Think about the root of the word: working together or in parallel.

179. In some places, cooperatives are being developed to exploit renewable sources of energy which ensure local self-sufficiency and even the sale of surplus energy. This simple example shows that, while the existing world order proves powerless to assume its responsibilities, local individuals and groups can make a real difference.

Teasing out that list of advantages:

They are able to instill

  • a greater sense of responsibility,
  • a strong sense of community,
  • a readiness to protect others,
  • a spirit of creativity
  • and a deep love for the land.

They are also concerned about what they will eventually leave to their children and grandchildren. These values are deeply rooted in indigenous peoples. Because the enforcement of laws is at times inadequate due to corruption, public pressure has to be exerted in order to bring about decisive political action.

Law enforcement, yes. Too often laws are manipulated to protect the powerful and rampage against the poor.

Society, through non-governmental organizations and intermediate groups, must put pressure on governments to develop more rigorous regulations, procedures and controls. Unless citizens control political power – national, regional and municipal – it will not be possible to control damage to the environment. Local legislation can be more effective, too, if agreements exist between neighboring communities to support the same environmental policies.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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