Tuesday, June 23, 2015
The Pope's Environmental Encyclical - Cal DeWitt in Do Justice!
The long-standing Stewardship Tradition—emerging in antiquity and continuing into the 18th century until it flickered and was extinguished in the heat of the industrial revolution—has been remarkably rekindled!
In his beautiful yet powerful encyclical letter, Laudato Si’—On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis gifted all people with a remarkably comprehensive letter. It is a letter that brings substantial hope as it bridges across both all creation and human society, inspiring everyone to envision an “integral ecology” for which creation and human society have been waiting in eager expectation.
In this, Francis mirrors his namesake from Assisi and with a biblically and scientifically founded proclamation invites everyone to enter “a dialogue with all people about our common home.”
Pope Francis reminds us that the biblical texts are to be read in their context, with an appropriate hermeneutic, recognizing that they tell us to “till and keep” the garden of the world (cf. Gen 2:15). “Tilling” [avad] refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while “keeping” [shamar] means caring, protecting, overseeing, and preserving. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature. Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for subsistence, but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for coming generations.”
The pope’s encyclical is wide-ranging as it is powerful. Covering climate change, loss of biodiversity, degradation of the oceans, pollution of the air we breathe, human and social degradation, and more, it simply must be read by all. Most importantly, the approach of integral ecology—the theme of the encyclical—must now hear “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” Francis perceptively identifies “an excessive anthropocentrism” that in disguise “continues to stand in the way...”
The full article is available here