File: blk00286.txt
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 30420246 km to Pluto.
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 30380853 km to Pluto.
enovating buildings
which improve their
energy efficiency. B
ut these good practi
ces are still far fr
eft"><b>II. THE ISSU
<p align="center"><f
ont color="#663300">
<br /> <font size="4
br /> </b> </font></
<br /> <b>FRANCIS<br
 /> </b>ON CARE FOR
i> In the words of t
his beautiful cantic
le, Saint Francis of
 Assisi reminds us t
hat our common home
is like a sister wit
h whom we share our
life and a beautiful
 mother who opens he
r arms to embrace us
u, my Lord, through
our Sister, Mother E
arth, who sustains a
nd governs us, and w
ho produces various
fruit with coloured
.<a name="_ftnref1"
title="" href="#_ftn
ister now cries out
to us because of the
 harm we have inflic
ted on her by our ir
responsible use and
abuse of the goods w
ith which God has en
dowed her. We have c
ome to see ourselves
 as her lords and ma
sters, entitled to p
lunder her at will.
The violence present
 in our hearts, woun
ded by sin, is also
reflected in the sym
ptoms of sickness ev
ident in the soil, i
n the water, in the
air and in all forms
 of life. This is wh
y the earth herself,
 burdened and laid w
aste, is among the m
ost abandoned and ma
ltreated of our poor
i>8:22). We have for
gotten that we ourse
lves are dust of the
 earth (cf. <i>Gen <
/i>2:7); our very bo
dies are made up of
her elements, we bre
athe her air and we
receive life and ref
reshment from her wa
this world is indiff
erent to us</i></p>
ore than fifty years
 ago, with the world
 teetering on the br
ink of nuclear crisi
s, <a href="http://w
>Pope Saint John XXI
II</a> wrote an <a h
 which not only reje
cted war but offered
 a proposal for peac
e. He addressed his
message <i> <a href=
">Pacem in Terris</a
></i> to the entire
l men and women of g
ced as we are with g
lobal environmental
deterioration, I wis
h to address every p
erson living on this
 planet. In my Apost
olic Exhortation <i>
 <a href="http://w2.
ml">Evangelii Gaudiu
m</a></i>, I wrote t
o all the members of
 the Church with the
 aim of encouraging
ongoing missionary r
enewal. In this Ency
clical, I would like
 to enter into dialo
gue with all people
about our common hom
<p>4. In 1971, eight
 years after <i> <a
.html">Pacem in Terr
is</a></i>, <a href=
d needs. It is liber
ation from fear, gre
.<a name="_ftnref17"
 title="" href="#_ft
n17">[17]</a> As Chr
istians, we are also
 the world as a sacr
ament of communion,
as a way of sharing
with God and our nei
ghbours on a global
scale. It is our hum
ble conviction that
the divine and the h
uman meet in the sli
ghtest detail in the
 seamless garment of
n the last speck of
" title="" href="#_f
tn18">[18]</a> </p>
aint Francis of Assi
want to write this E
ncyclical without tu
rning to that attrac
tive and compelling
figure, whose name I
 took as my guide an
d inspiration when I
 was elected Bishop
of Rome. I believe t
hat Saint Francis is
 the example par exc
ellence of care for
the vulnerable and o
f an integral ecolog
y lived out joyfully
 and authentically.
He is the patron sai
nt of all who study
and work in the area
 of ecology, and he
is also much loved b
y non-Christians. He
 was particularly co
creation and for the
 poor and outcast. H
e loved, and was dee
ply loved for his jo
y, his generous self
-giving, his openhea
rtedness. He was a m
ystic and a pilgrim
who lived in simplic
ity and in wonderful
 harmony with God, w
ith others, with nat
ure and with himself
. He shows us just h
ow inseparable the b
ond is between conce
rn for nature, justi
ce for the poor, com
mitment to society,
and interior peace.<
11. Francis helps us
 to see that an inte
gral ecology calls f
or openness to categ
ories which transcen
d the language of ma
thematics and biolog
y, and take us to th
e heart of what it i
s to be human. Just
as happens when we f
all in love with som
eone, whenever he wo
uld gaze at the sun,
 the moon or the sma
llest of animals, he
 burst into song, dr
awing all other crea
tures into his prais
e. He communed with
all creation, even p
reaching to the flow
, just as if they we
re endowed with reas
ef19" title="" href=
"#_ftn19">[19]</a> H
is response to the w
orld around him was
so much more than in
tellectual appreciat
ion or economic calc
ulus, for to him eac
h and every creature
 was a sister united
 to him by bonds of
affection. That is w
hy he felt called to
 care for all that e
xists. His disciple
Saint Bonaventure te
 a reflection on the
 primary source of a
ll things, filled wi
th even more abundan
t piety, he would ca
ll creatures, no mat
ter how small, by th
0" title="" href="#_
ftn20">[20]</a> Such
 a conviction cannot
 be written off as n
aive romanticism, fo
r it affects the cho
ices which determine
 our behaviour. If w
e approach nature an
d the environment wi
thout this openness
to awe and wonder, i
f we no longer speak
 the language of fra
ternity and beauty i
n our relationship w
ith the world, our a
ttitude will be that
 of masters, consume
rs, ruthless exploit
ers, unable to set l
imits on their immed
iate needs. By contr
ast, if we feel inti
mately united with a
ll that exists, then
 sobriety and care w
ill well up spontane
ously. The poverty a
nd austerity of Sain
t Francis were no me
re veneer of ascetic
ism, but something m
uch more radical: a
refusal to turn real
ity into an object s
imply to be used and
t is more, Saint Fra
ncis, faithful to Sc
ripture, invites us
to see nature as a m
agnificent book in w
hich God speaks to u
s and grants us a gl
impse of his infinit
e beauty and goodnes
eatness and the beau
ty of creatures one
comes to know by ana
(<i>Wis</i> 13:5); i
l power and divinity
 have been made know
n through his works
since the creation o
om</i> 1:20). For th
is reason, Francis a
sked that part of th
e friary garden alwa
ys be left untouched
, so that wild flowe
rs and herbs could g
row there, and those
 who saw them could
raise their minds to
 God, the Creator of
 such beauty.<a name
="_ftnref21" title="
" href="#_ftn21">[21
]</a> Rather than a
problem to be solved
, the world is a joy
ful mystery to be co
ntemplated with glad
ness and praise.</p>
hallenge to protect
our common home incl
udes a concern to br
ing the whole human
family together to s
eek a sustainable an
d integral developme
nt, for we know that
 things can change.
The Creator does not
 abandon us; he neve
r forsakes his lovin
g plan or repents of
 having created us.
Humanity still has t
he ability to work t
ogether in building
our common home. Her
e I want to recogniz
e, encourage and tha
nk all those strivin
g in countless ways
to guarantee the pro
tection of the home
which we share. Part
icular appreciation
is owed to those who
 tirelessly seek to
resolve the tragic e
ffects of environmen
tal degradation on t
he lives of the worl
 people demand chang
e. They wonder how a
nyone can claim to b
e building a better
future without think
ing of the environme
ntal crisis and the
sufferings of the ex
ly appeal, then, for
 a new dialogue abou
t how we are shaping
 the future of our p
lanet. We need a con
versation which incl
udes everyone, since
 the environmental c
hallenge we are unde
rgoing, and its huma
n roots, concern and
 affect us all. The
worldwide ecological
 movement has alread
y made considerable
progress and led to
the establishment of
 numerous organizati
ons committed to rai
sing awareness of th
ese challenges. Regr
ettably, many effort
s to seek concrete s
olutions to the envi
ronmental crisis hav
e proved ineffective
, not only because o
f powerful oppositio
n but also because o
f a more general lac
k of interest. Obstr
uctionist attitudes,
 even on the part of
 believers, can rang
e from denial of the
 problem to indiffer
ence, nonchalant res
ignation or blind co
nfidence in technica
l solutions. We requ
ire a new and univer
sal solidarity. As t
he bishops of Southe
rn Africa have state
alents and involveme
nt are needed to red
ress the damage caus
ed by human abuse of
. <a name="_ftnref22
" title="" href="#_f
tn22">[22]</a> All o
f us can cooperate a
s instruments of God
 for the care of cre
ation, each accordin
g to his or her own
culture, experience,
 involvements and ta
hope that this Encyc
lical Letter, which
is now added to the
can help us to ackno
wledge the appeal, i
mmensity and urgency
 of the challenge we
 face. I will begin
by briefly reviewing
 several aspects of
the present ecologic
al crisis, with the
aim of drawing on th
e results of the bes
t scientific researc
h available today, l
etting them touch us
 deeply and provide
a concrete foundatio
n for the ethical an
d spiritual itinerar
y that follows. I wi
ll then consider som
e principles drawn f
rom the Judaeo-Chris
tian tradition which
 can render our comm
itment to the enviro
nment more coherent.
 I will then attempt
 to get to the roots
 of the present situ
ation, so as to cons
ider not only its sy
mptoms but also its
deepest causes. This
 will help to provid
e an approach to eco
logy which respects
our unique place as
human beings in this
 world and our relat
ionship to our surro
undings. In light of
 this reflection, I
will advance some br
oader proposals for
dialogue and action
which would involve
each of us as indivi
duals, and also affe
ct international pol
icy. Finally, convin
ced as I am that cha
nge is impossible wi
thout motivation and
 a process of educat
ion, I will offer so
me inspired guidelin
es for human develop
ment to be found in
the treasure of Chri
stian spiritual expe
 each chapter will h
ave its own subject
and specific approac
h, it will also take
 up and re-examine i
mportant questions p
reviously dealt with
. This is particular
ly the case with a n
umber of themes whic
h will reappear as t
he Encyclical unfold
s. As examples, I wi
ll point to the inti
mate relationship be
tween the poor and t
he fragility of the
planet, the convicti
on that everything i
n the world is conne
cted, the critique o
f new paradigms and
forms of power deriv
ed from technology,
the call to seek oth
er ways of understan
ding the economy and
 progress, the value
 proper to each crea
ture, the human mean
ing of ecology, the
need for forthright
and honest debate, t
he serious responsib
ility of internation
al and local policy,
 the throwaway cultu
re and the proposal
of a new lifestyle.
These questions will
 not be dealt with o
nce and for all, but
 reframed and enrich
ed again and again.
ter">CHAPTER ONE</p>
enter"><b>WHAT IS HA
cal and philosophica
l reflections on the
 situation of humani
ty and the world can
 sound tiresome and
abstract, unless the
y are grounded in a
fresh analysis of ou
r present situation,
 which is in many wa
ys unprecedented in
the history of human
ity. So, before cons
idering how faith br
ings new incentives
and requirements wit
h regard to the worl
d of which we are a
part, I will briefly
 turn to what is hap
pening to our common
nued acceleration of
 changes affecting h
umanity and the plan
et is coupled today
with a more intensif
ied pace of life and
 work which might be
hange is part of the
 working of complex
systems, the speed w
ith which human acti
vity has developed c
ontrasts with the na
turally slow pace of
 biological evolutio
n. Moreover, the goa
ls of this rapid and
 constant change are
 not necessarily gea
red to the common go
od or to integral an
d sustainable human
development. Change
is something desirab
le, yet it becomes a
 source of anxiety w
hen it causes harm t
o the world and to t
he quality of life o
f much of humanity.<
19. Following a peri
od of irrational con
fidence in progress
and human abilities,
 some sectors of soc
iety are now adoptin
g a more critical ap
proach. We see incre
asing sensitivity to
 the environment and
 the need to protect
 nature, along with
a growing concern, b
oth genuine and dist
ressing, for what is
 happening to our pl
anet. Let us review,
 however cursorily,
those questions whic
h are troubling us t
oday and which we ca
n no longer sweep un
der the carpet. Our
goal is not to amass
 information or to s
atisfy curiosity, bu
t rather to become p
ainfully aware, to d
are to turn what is
happening to the wor
ld into our own pers
onal suffering and t
hus to discover what
 each of us can do a
p align="left"><b>I.
TE CHANGE </b> </p>
>Pollution, waste an
d the throwaway cult
>20. Some forms of p
ollution are part of
perience. Exposure t
o atmospheric pollut
ants produces a broa
d spectrum of health
 hazards, especially
 for the poor, and c
auses millions of pr
emature deaths. Peop
le take sick, for ex
ample, from breathin
g high levels of smo
ke from fuels used i
n cooking or heating
. There is also poll
ution that affects e
veryone, caused by t
ransport, industrial
 fumes, substances w
hich contribute to t
he acidification of
soil and water, fert
ilizers, insecticide
s, fungicides, herbi
cides and agrotoxins
 in general. Technol
ogy, which, linked t
o business interests
, is presented as th
e only way of solvin
g these problems, in
 fact proves incapab
le of seeing the mys
terious network of r
elations between thi
ngs and so sometimes
 solves one problem
only to create other
<p>21. Account must
also be taken of the
 pollution produced
by residue, includin
g dangerous waste pr
esent in different a
reas. Each year hund
reds of millions of
tons of waste are ge
nerated, much of it
non-biodegradable, h
ighly toxic and radi
oactive, from homes
and businesses, from
 construction and de
molition sites, from
 clinical, electroni
c and industrial sou
rces. The earth, our
 home, is beginning
to look more and mor
e like an immense pi
le of filth. In many
 parts of the planet
, the elderly lament
 that once beautiful
 landscapes are now
covered with rubbish
. Industrial waste a
nd chemical products
 utilized in cities
and agricultural are
as can lead to bioac
cumulation in the or
ganisms of the local
 population, even wh
en levels of toxins
in those places are
low. Frequently no m
easures are taken un
 health has been irr
eversibly affected.<
.html">Blessed Pope
Paul VI</a> referred
 to the ecological c
unchecked human acti
ll-considered exploi
tation of nature, hu
manity runs the risk
 of destroying it an
d becoming in turn a
 victim of this degr
_ftnref2" title="" h
 He spoke in similar
 terms to the Food a
nd Agriculture Organ
ization of the Unite
d Nations about the
ecological catastrop
he under the effecti
ve explosion of indu
the urgent need for
a radical change in
the conduct of human
inary scientific adv
ances, the most amaz
ing technical abilit
ies, the most astoni
shing economic growt
h, unless they are a
ccompanied by authen
tic social and moral
 progress, will defi
nitively turn agains
tnref3" title="" hre
. <a href="http://w2
">Saint John Paul II
</a> became increasi
ngly concerned about
 this issue. In <a h
s first Encyclical</
a> he warned that hu
man beings frequentl
other meaning in the
ir natural environme
nt than what serves
for immediate use an
name="_ftnref4" titl
e="" href="#_ftn4">[
4]</a> Subsequently,
 he would call for a
 global ecological <
name="_ftnref5" titl
e="" href="#_ftn5">[
5]</a> At the same t
ime, he noted that l
ittle effort had bee
rd the moral conditi
ons for an authentic
 <i>human ecology</i
f6" title="" href="#
_ftn6">[6]</a> The d
estruction of the hu
man environment is e
xtremely serious, no
t only because God h
as entrusted the wor
ld to us men and wom
en, but because huma
n life is itself a g
ift which must be de
fended from various
forms of debasement.
 Every effort to pro
tect and improve our
 world entails profo
festyles, models of
production and consu
mption, and the esta
blished structures o
f power which today
<a name="_ftnref7" t
itle="" href="#_ftn7
">[7]</a> Authentic
human development ha
s a moral character.
 It presumes full re
spect for the human
person, but it must
also be concerned fo
r the world around u
ccount the nature of
 each being and of i
ts mutual connection
 in an ordered syste
f8" title="" href="#
_ftn8">[8]</a> Accor
dingly, our human ab
ility to transform r
eality must proceed
 original gift of al
l that is.<a name="_
ftnref9" title="" hr
6. My predecessor <a
nedict XVI</a> likew
inating the structur
al causes of the dys
functions of the wor
ld economy and corre
cting models of grow
th which have proved
 incapable of ensuri
ng respect for the e
e="_ftnref10" title=
"" href="#_ftn10">[1
0]</a> He observed t
hat the world cannot
 be analyzed by isol
ating only one of it
the book of nature i
s one and indivisibl
he environment, life
, sexuality, the fam
ily, social relation
s, and so forth. It
deterioration of nat
ure is closely conne
cted to the culture
which shapes human c
e="_ftnref11" title=
"" href="#_ftn11">[1
1]</a> Pope Benedict
 asked us to recogni
ze that the natural
environment has been
 gravely damaged by
our irresponsible be
haviour. The social
environment has also
 suffered damage. Bo
th are ultimately du
e to the same evil:
the notion that ther
e are no indisputabl
e truths to guide ou
r lives, and hence h
uman freedom is limi
tless. We have forgo
not only a freedom w
hich he creates for
himself. Man does no
t create himself. He
 is spirit and will,
<a name="_ftnref12"
title="" href="#_ftn
12">[12]</a> With pa
ternal concern, Bene
dict urged us to rea
lize that creation i
 ourselves have the
final word, where ev
erything is simply o
ur property and we u
se it for ourselves
alone. The misuse of
 creation begins whe
n we no longer recog
nize any higher inst
ance than ourselves,
 when we see nothing
3" title="" href="#_
nited by the same co
tatements of the Pop
es echo the reflecti
ons of numerous scie
ntists, philosophers
, theologians and ci
vic groups, all of w
hich have enriched t
ng on these question
s. Outside the Catho
lic Church, other Ch
urches and Christian
 other religions as
sed deep concern and
 offered valuable re
flections on issues
which all of us find
 disturbing. To give
 just one striking e
xample, I would ment
ion the statements m
ade by the beloved E
cumenical Patriarch
Bartholomew, with wh
om we share the hope
 of full ecclesial c
ch Bartholomew has s
poken in particular
of the need for each
 of us to repent of
the ways we have har
med the planet, for
l generate small eco
e are called to ackn
ibution, smaller or
greater, to the disf
igurement and destru
.<a name="_ftnref14"
 title="" href="#_ft
n14">[14]</a> He has
 repeatedly stated t
his firmly and persu
asively, challenging
 us to acknowledge o
ur sins against crea
the biological diver
tion; for human bein
gs to degrade the in
tegrity of the earth
 by causing changes
in its climate, by s
tripping the earth o
f its natural forest
s or destroying its
wetlands; for human
beings to contaminat
rs, its land, its ai
 name="_ftnref15" ti
tle="" href="#_ftn15
 commit a crime agai
nst the natural worl
d is a sin against o
urselves and a sin a
e="_ftnref16" title=
"" href="#_ftn16">[1
e time, Bartholomew
has drawn attention
to the ethical and s
piritual roots of en
vironmental problems
, which require that
 we look for solutio
ns not only in techn
ology but in a chang
e of humanity; other
wise we would be dea
ling merely with sym
ptoms. He asks us to
 replace consumption
 with sacrifice, gre
ed with generosity,
wastefulness with a
spirit of sharing, a
o give, and not simp
ly to give up. It is
 a way of loving, of
 moving gradually aw
ay from what I want
olling them, yet thi
s is not the case wh
ere ecological debt
is concerned. In dif
ferent ways, develop
ing countries, where
 the most important
reserves of the bios
phere are found, con
tinue to fuel the de
velopment of richer
countries at the cos
t of their own prese
nt and future. The l
and of the southern
poor is rich and mos
tly unpolluted, yet
access to ownership
of goods and resourc
es for meeting vital
 needs is inhibited
by a system of comme
rcial relations and
ownership which is s
tructurally perverse
. The developed coun
tries ought to help
pay this debt by sig
nificantly limiting
their consumption of
 non-renewable energ
y and by assisting p
oorer countries to s
upport policies and
programmes of sustai
nable development. T
he poorest areas and
 countries are less
capable of adopting
new models for reduc
ing environmental im
pact because they la
ck the wherewithal t
o develop the necess
ary processes and to
 cover their costs.
We must continue to
be aware that, regar
ding climate change,
 there are <i>differ
entiated responsibil
ities</i>. As the Un
ited States bishops
have said, greater a
ttention must be giv
f the poor, the weak
 and the vulnerable,
 in a debate often d
ominated by more pow
a name="_ftnref31" t
itle="" href="#_ftn3
1">[31]</a> We need
to strengthen the co
nviction that we are
 one single human fa
mily. There are no f
rontiers or barriers
, political or socia
l, behind which we c
an hide, still less
is there room for th
e globalization of i
3. These situations
have caused sister e
arth, along with all
 the abandoned of ou
r world, to cry out,
 pleading that we ta
ke another course. N
ever have we so hurt
 and mistreated our
common home as we ha
ve in the last two h
undred years. Yet we
 are called to be in
struments of God our
 Father, so that our
 planet might be wha
t he desired when he
 created it and corr
espond with his plan
 for peace, beauty a
nd fullness. The pro
blem is that we stil
l lack the culture n
eeded to confront th
is crisis. We lack l
eadership capable of
 striking out on new
 paths and meeting t
he needs of the pres
ent with concern for
 all and without pre
judice towards comin
g generations. The e
stablishment of a le
gal framework which
can set clear bounda
ries and ensure the
protection of ecosys
tems has become indi
spensable; otherwise
, the new power stru
ctures based on the
techno-economic para
digm may overwhelm n
ot only our politics
 but also freedom an
 remarkable how weak
 international polit
ical responses have
been. The failure of
 global summits on t
he environment make
it plain that our po
litics are subject t
o technology and fin
ance. There are too
many special interes
ts, and economic int
erests easily end up
 trumping the common
 good and manipulati
ng information so th
at their own plans w
ill not be affected.
 The <i> Aparecida D
ocument</i> urges th
of economic groups w
hich irrationally de
molish sources of li
fe should not prevai
l in dealing with na
a name="_ftnref32" t
22. These problems a
re closely linked to
 a throwaway culture
 which affects the e
xcluded just as it q
uickly reduces thing
s to rubbish. To cit
e one example, most
of the paper we prod
uce is thrown away a
nd not recycled. It
is hard for us to ac
cept that the way na
tural ecosystems wor
k is exemplary: plan
ts synthesize nutrie
nts which feed herbi
vores; these in turn
 become food for car
nivores, which produ
ce significant quant
ities of organic was
te which give rise t
o new generations of
 plants. But our ind
ustrial system, at t
he end of its cycle
of production and co
nsumption, has not d
eveloped the capacit
y to absorb and reus
e waste and by-produ
cts. We have not yet
 managed to adopt a
circular model of pr
oduction capable of
preserving resources
 for present and fut
ure generations, whi
le limiting as much
as possible the use
of non-renewable res
ources, moderating t
heir consumption, ma
ximizing their effic
ient use, reusing an
d recycling them. A
serious consideratio
n of this issue woul
d be one way of coun
teracting the throwa
way culture which af
fects the entire pla
net, but it must be
said that only limit
ed progress has been
 made in this regard
p><i>Climate as a co
e climate is a commo
n good, belonging to
 all and meant for a
ll. At the global le
vel, it is a complex
 system linked to ma
ny of the essential
conditions for human
 life. A very solid
scientific consensus
 indicates that we a
re presently witness
ing a disturbing war
ming of the climatic
 system. In recent d
ecades this warming
has been accompanied
 by a constant rise
in the sea level and
, it would appear, b
y an increase of ext
reme weather events,
 even if a scientifi
cally determinable c
ause cannot be assig
ned to each particul
ar phenomenon. Human
ity is called to rec
ognize the need for
changes of lifestyle
, production and con
sumption, in order t
o combat this warmin
g or at least the hu
man causes which pro
duce or aggravate it
. It is true that th
ere are other factor
s (such as volcanic
activity, variations
bit and axis, the so
lar cycle), yet a nu
mber of scientific s
tudies indicate that
 most global warming
 in recent decades i
s due to the great c
oncentration of gree
nhouse gases (carbon
 dioxide, methane, n
itrogen oxides and o
thers) released main
ly as a result of hu
man activity. Concen
trated in the atmosp
here, these gases do
 not allow the warmt
s reflected by the e
arth to be dispersed
 in space. The probl
em is aggravated by
a model of developme
nt based on the inte
nsive use of fossil
fuels, which is at t
he heart of the worl
dwide energy system.
 Another determining
 factor has been an
increase in changed
uses of the soil, pr
incipally deforestat
ion for agricultural
ng has effects on th
e carbon cycle. It c
reates a vicious cir
cle which aggravates
 the situation even
more, affecting the
availability of esse
ntial resources like
 drinking water, ene
rgy and agricultural
 production in warme
r regions, and leadi
ng to the extinction
 of part of the plan
 The melting in the
polar ice caps and i
n high altitude plai
ns can lead to the d
angerous release of
methane gas, while t
he decomposition of
frozen organic mater
ial can further incr
ease the emission of
 carbon dioxide. Thi
ngs are made worse b
y the loss of tropic
al forests which wou
ld otherwise help to
 mitigate climate ch
ange. Carbon dioxide
 pollution increases
 the acidification o
f the oceans and com
promises the marine
food chain. If prese
nt trends continue,
this century may wel
l witness extraordin
ary climate change a
nd an unprecedented
destruction of ecosy
stems, with serious
consequences for all
 of us. A rise in th
e sea level, for exa
mple, can create ext
remely serious situa
tions, if we conside
r that a quarter of
tion lives on the co
ast or nearby, and t
hat the majority of
our megacities are s
ituated in coastal a
ange is a global pro
blem with grave impl
ications: environmen
tal, social, economi
c, political and for
 the distribution of
 goods. It represent
s one of the princip
al challenges facing
 humanity in our day
. Its worst impact w
ill probably be felt
 by developing count
ries in coming decad
es. Many of the poor
 live in areas parti
cularly affected by
phenomena related to
 warming, and their
means of subsistence
 are largely depende
nt on natural reserv
es and ecosystemic s
ervices such as agri
culture, fishing and
 forestry. They have
 no other financial
activities or resour
ces which can enable
 them to adapt to cl
imate change or to f
ace natural disaster
s, and their access
to social services a
nd protection is ver
y limited. For examp
le, changes in clima
te, to which animals
 and plants cannot a
dapt, lead them to m
igrate; this in turn
 affects the livelih
ood of the poor, who
 are then forced to
leave their homes, w
ith great uncertaint
y for their future a
nd that of their chi
ldren. There has bee
n a tragic rise in t
he number of migrant
s seeking to flee fr
om the growing pover
ty caused by environ
mental degradation.
They are not recogni
zed by international
 conventions as refu
gees; they bear the
loss of the lives th
ey have left behind,
 without enjoying an
y legal protection w
hatsoever. Sadly, th
ere is widespread in
difference to such s
uffering, which is e
ven now taking place
 throughout our worl
d. Our lack of respo
nse to these tragedi
es involving our bro
thers and sisters po
ints to the loss of
that sense of respon
sibility for our fel
low men and women up
on which all civil s
ociety is founded.</
6. Many of those who
 possess more resour
ces and economic or
political power seem
 mostly to be concer
ned with masking the
 problems or conceal
ing their symptoms,
simply making effort
s to reduce some of
the negative impacts
 of climate change.
However, many of the
se symptoms indicate
 that such effects w
ill continue to wors
en if we continue wi
th current models of
 production and cons
umption. There is an
 urgent need to deve
lop policies so that
, in the next few ye
ars, the emission of
 carbon dioxide and
other highly polluti
ng gases can be dras
tically reduced, for
 example, substituti
ng for fossil fuels
and developing sourc
es of renewable ener
gy. Worldwide there
is minimal access to
 clean and renewable
 energy. There is st
ill a need to develo
p adequate storage t
echnologies. Some co
untries have made co
nsiderable progress,
 although it is far
from constituting a
significant proporti
on. Investments have
 also been made in m
eans of production a
nd transportation wh
ich consume less ene
rgy and require fewe
r raw materials, as
well as in methods o
f construction and r
dicators of the pres
ent situation have t
o do with the deplet
ion of natural resou
rces. We all know th
at it is not possibl
e to sustain the pre
sent level of consum
ption in developed c
ountries and wealthi
er sectors of societ
y, where the habit o
f wasting and discar
ding has reached unp
recedented levels. T
he exploitation of t
he planet has alread
y exceeded acceptabl
e limits and we stil
l have not solved th
e problem of poverty
p>28. Fresh drinking
 water is an issue o
f primary importance
, since it is indisp
ensable for human li
fe and for supportin
g terrestrial and aq
uatic ecosystems. So
urces of fresh water
 are necessary for h
ealth care, agricult
ure and industry. Wa
ter supplies used to
 be relatively const
ant, but now in many
 places demand excee
ds the sustainable s
upply, with dramatic
 consequences in the
 short and long term
. Large cities depen
dent on significant
supplies of water ha
ve experienced perio
ds of shortage, and
at critical moments
these have not alway
s been administered
with sufficient over
sight and impartiali
ty. Water poverty es
pecially affects Afr
ica where large sect
ors of the populatio
n have no access to
safe drinking water
or experience drough
ts which impede agri
cultural production.
 Some countries have
 areas rich in water
 while others endure
 drastic scarcity. <
29. One particularly
 serious problem is
the quality of water
 available to the po
or. Every day, unsaf
e water results in m
any deaths and the s
pread of water-relat
ed diseases, includi
ng those caused by m
icroorganisms and ch
emical substances. D
ysentery and cholera
, linked to inadequa
te hygiene and water
 supplies, are a sig
nificant cause of su
ffering and of infan
t mortality. Undergr
ound water sources i
n many places are th
reatened by the poll
ution produced in ce
rtain mining, farmin
g and industrial act
ivities, especially
in countries lacking
 adequate regulation
 or controls. It is
not only a question
of industrial waste.
 Detergents and chem
ical products, commo
nly used in many pla
ces of the world, co
ntinue to pour into
our rivers, lakes an
the quality of avail
able water is consta
ntly diminishing, in
 some places there i
s a growing tendency
, despite its scarci
ty, to privatize thi
s resource, turning
it into a commodity
subject to the laws
of the market. Yet <
i> access to safe dr
inkable water is a b
asic and universal h
uman right, since it
 is essential to hum
an survival and, as
such, is a condition
 for the exercise of
 other human rights<
/i>. Our world has a
 grave social debt t
owards the poor who
lack access to drink
ing water, because <
i>they are denied th
e right to a life co
nsistent with their
inalienable dignity<
/i>. This debt can b
e paid partly by an
increase in funding
to provide clean wat
er and sanitary serv
ices among the poor.
 But water continues
 to be wasted, not o
nly in the developed
 world but also in d
eveloping countries
which possess it in
abundance. This show
s that the problem o
f water is partly an
 educational and cul
tural issue, since t
here is little aware
ness of the seriousn
ess of such behaviou
r within a context o
f great inequality.<
itle="" href="#_ftn3
2">[32]</a> The alli
ance between the eco
nomy and technology
ends up sidelining a
nything unrelated to
 its immediate inter
ests. Consequently t
he most one can expe
ct is superficial rh
etoric, sporadic act
s of philanthropy an
d perfunctory expres
sions of concern for
 the environment, wh
ereas any genuine at
tempt by groups with
in society to introd
uce change is viewed
 as a nuisance based
 on romantic illusio
ns or an obstacle to
 be circumvented.</p
. Some countries are
 gradually making si
gnificant progress,
developing more effe
ctive controls and w
orking to combat cor
ruption. People may
well have a growing
ecological sensitivi
ty but it has not su
cceeded in changing
their harmful habits
 of consumption whic
h, rather than decre
asing, appear to be
growing all the more
. A simple example i
s the increasing use
 and power of air-co
nditioning. The mark
ets, which immediate
ly benefit from sale
s, stimulate ever gr
eater demand. An out
sider looking at our
 world would be amaz
ed at such behaviour
, which at times app
ears self-destructiv
<p>56. In the meanti
me, economic powers
continue to justify
the current global s
ystem where priority
 tends to be given t
o speculation and th
e pursuit of financi
al gain, which fail
to take the context
into account, let al
one the effects on h
uman dignity and the
 natural environment
. Here we see how en
vironmental deterior
ation and human and
ethical degradation
are closely linked.
Many people will den
y doing anything wro
ng because distracti
ons constantly dull
our consciousness of
 just how limited an
d finite our world r
eally is. As a resul
agile, like the envi
ronment, is defencel
ess before the inter
ests of a deified ma
rket, which become t
ame="_ftnref33" titl
e="" href="#_ftn33">
oreseeable that, onc
e certain resources
have been depleted,
the scene will be se
t for new wars, albe
it under the guise o
f noble claims. War
always does grave ha
rm to the environmen
t and to the cultura
l riches of peoples,
 risks which are mag
nified when one cons
iders nuclear arms a
nd biological weapon
ternational agreemen
ts which prohibit ch
emical, bacteriologi
cal and biological w
arfare, the fact is
that laboratory rese
arch continues to de
velop new offensive
weapons capable of a
ltering the balance
="_ftnref34" title="
" href="#_ftn34">[34
]</a> Politics must
pay greater attentio
n to foreseeing new
conflicts and addres
sing the causes whic
h can lead to them.
But powerful financi
al interests prove m
ost resistant to thi
s effort, and politi
cal planning tends t
o lack breadth of vi
sion. What would ind
uce anyone, at this
stage, to hold on to
 power only to be re
membered for their i
nability to take act
ion when it was urge
nt and necessary to
ountries, there are
positive examples of
 environmental impro
vement: rivers, poll
uted for decades, ha
ve been cleaned up;
native woodlands hav
e been restored; lan
dscapes have been be
autified thanks to e
nvironmental renewal
 projects; beautiful
 buildings have been
 erected; advances h
ave been made in the
 production of non-p
olluting energy and
in the improvement o
f public transportat
ion. These achieveme
nts do not solve glo
bal problems, but th
ey do show that men
and women are still
capable of interveni
ng positively. For a
ll our limitations,
gestures of generosi
ty, solidarity and c
are cannot but well
up within us, since
we were made for lov
time we can note the
 rise of a false or
superficial ecology
which bolsters compl
acency and a cheerfu
l recklessness. As o
ften occurs in perio
ds of deep crisis wh
ich require bold dec
isions, we are tempt
ed to think that wha
t is happening is no
t entirely clear. Su
perficially, apart f
rom a few obvious si
gns of pollution and
 deterioration, thin
gs do not look that
serious, and the pla
net could continue a
s it is for some tim
e. Such evasiveness
serves as a licence
to carrying on with
our present lifestyl
es and models of pro
duction and consumpt
ion. This is the way
 human beings contri
ve to feed their sel
f-destructive vices:
 trying not to see t
hem, trying not to a
cknowledge them, del
aying the important
decisions and preten
ding that nothing wi
ll happen.<br clear=
ally, we need to ack
nowledge that differ
ent approaches and l
ines of thought have
 emerged regarding t
his situation and it
s possible solutions
. At one extreme, we
 find those who dogg
edly uphold the myth
 of progress and tel
l us that ecological
 problems will solve
 themselves simply w
ith the application
of new technology an
d without any need f
or ethical considera
tions or deep change
. At the other extre
me are those who vie
w men and women and
all their interventi
ons as no more than
a threat, jeopardizi
ng the global ecosys
tem, and consequentl
y the presence of hu
man beings on the pl
anet should be reduc
ed and all forms of
intervention prohibi
ted. Viable future s
cenarios will have t
o be generated betwe
en these extremes, s
ince there is no one
 path to a solution.
 This makes a variet
y of proposals possi
ble, all capable of
entering into dialog
ue with a view to de
veloping comprehensi
 many concrete quest
ions, the Church has
 no reason to offer
a definitive opinion
; she knows that hon
est debate must be e
ncouraged among expe
rts, while respectin
g divergent views. B
ut we need only take
 a frank look at the
 facts to see that o
ur common home is fa
lling into serious d
isrepair. Hope would
 have us recognize t
hat there is always
a way out, that we c
an always redirect o
ur steps, that we ca
n always do somethin
g to solve our probl
ems. Still, we can s
ee signs that things
 are now reaching a
breaking point, due
to the rapid pace of
 change and degradat
ion; these are evide
nt in large-scale na
tural disasters as w
ell as social and ev
en financial crises,
roblems cannot be an
alyzed or explained
in isolation. There
are regions now at h
igh risk and, aside
from all doomsday pr
edictions, the prese
nt world system is c
ertainly unsustainab
le from a number of
points of view, for
we have stopped thin
king about the goals
 of human activity.
gions of our planet,
 we immediately see
that humanity has di
me="_ftnref35" title
="" href="#_ftn35">[
35]</a><br clear="al
n="center">CHAPTER T
Why should this docu
ment, addressed to a
ll people of good wi
ll, include a chapte
r dealing with the c
onvictions of believ
ers? I am well aware
 that in the areas o
f politics and philo
sophy there are thos
e who firmly reject
the idea of a Creato
r, or consider it ir
relevant, and conseq
uently dismiss as ir
rational the rich co
ntribution which rel
igions can make towa
rds an integral ecol
ogy and the full dev
elopment of humanity
. Others view religi
ons simply as a subc
ulture to be tolerat
ed. Nonetheless, sci
ence and religion, w
ith their distinctiv
e approaches to unde
rstanding reality, c
an enter into an int
ense dialogue fruitf
the complexity of th
e ecological crisis
and its multiple cau
ses, we need to real
ize that the solutio
ns will not emerge f
rom just one way of
interpreting and tra
nsforming reality. R
espect must also be
shown for the variou
s cultural riches of
 different peoples,
their art and poetry
, their interior lif
e and spirituality.
If we are truly conc
erned to develop an
ecology capable of r
emedying the damage
we have done, no bra
nch of the sciences
and no form of wisdo
m can be left out, a
nd that includes rel
igion and the langua
ge particular to it.
 The Catholic Church
 is open to dialogue
 with philosophical
thought; this has en
abled her to produce
 various syntheses b
etween faith and rea
son. The development
ocial teaching repre
sents such a synthes
is with regard to so
cial issues; this te
aching is called to
be enriched by takin
g up new challenges.
>64. Furthermore, al
though this Encyclic
al welcomes dialogue
 with everyone so th
at together we can s
eek paths of liberat
ion, I would like fr
om the outset to sho
w how faith convicti
ons can offer Christ
ians, and some other
 believers as well,
ample motivation to
care for nature and
for the most vulnera
ble of their brother
s and sisters. If th
e simple fact of bei
ng human moves peopl
e to care for the en
vironment of which t
hey are a part, Chri
stians in their turn
ir responsibility wi
thin creation, and t
heir duty towards na
ture and the Creator
, are an essential p
" title="" href="#_f
tn36">[36]</a> It is
 good for humanity a
nd the world at larg
e when we believers
better recognize the
 ecological commitme
nts which stem from
our convictions.</p>
ating the entire the
ology of creation, w
e can ask what the g
reat biblical narrat
ives say about the r
elationship of human
 beings with the wor
ld. In the first cre
ation account in the
 Book of Genesis, Go
creating humanity. A
fter the creation of
od saw everything th
at he had made, and
behold it was <i>ver
n </i> 1:31). The Bi
ble teaches that eve
ry man and woman is
created out of love
image and likeness (
cf. <i>Gen </i>1:26)
. This shows us the
immense dignity of e
s not just something
, but someone. He is
 capable of self-kno
wledge, of self-poss
ession and of freely
 giving himself and
entering into commun
ion with other perso
ef37" title="" href=
"#_ftn37">[37]</a> S
aint John Paul II st
ated that the specia
l love of the Creato
r for each human bei
im or her an infinit
="_ftnref38" title="
" href="#_ftn38">[38
]</a> Those who are
committed to defendi
ng human dignity can
 find in the Christi
an faith the deepest
 reasons for this co
mmitment. How wonder
ful is the certainty
 that each human lif
e is not adrift in t
he midst of hopeless
 chaos, in a world r
uled by pure chance
or endlessly recurri
ng cycles! The Creat
or can say to each o
I formed you in the
(<i>Jer </i>1:5). We
 were conceived in t
he heart of God, and
each of us is the re
sult of a thought of
 God. Each of us is
willed, each of us i
s loved, each of us
ame="_ftnref39" titl
e="" href="#_ftn39">
ation accounts in th
e book of Genesis co
ntain, in their own
symbolic and narrati
ve language, profoun
d teachings about hu
man existence and it
s historical reality
. They suggest that
human life is ground
ed in three fundamen
tal and closely inte
rtwined relationship
s: with God, with ou
r neighbour and with
 the earth itself. A
ccording to the Bibl
e, these three vital
 relationships have
been broken, both ou
twardly and within u
s. This rupture is s
in. The harmony betw
een the Creator, hum
anity and creation a
s a whole was disrup
ted by our presuming
 to take the place o
f God and refusing t
o acknowledge our cr
eaturely limitations
. This in turn disto
rted our mandate to
over the earth (cf.
<i>Gen </i>1:28), to
:15). As a result, t
he originally harmon
ious relationship be
tween human beings a
nd nature became con
flictual (cf. <i>Gen
 </i>3:17-19). It is
 significant that th
e harmony which Sain
t Francis of Assisi
experienced with all
 creatures was seen
as a healing of that
 rupture. Saint Bona
venture held that, t
hrough universal rec
onciliation with eve
ry creature, Saint F
rancis in some way r
eturned to the state
 of original innocen
ce.<a name="_ftnref4
0" title="" href="#_
ftn40">[40]</a> This
 is a far cry from o
ur situation today,
where sin is manifes
t in all its destruc
tive power in wars,
the various forms of
 violence and abuse,
 the abandonment of
the most vulnerable,
 and attacks on natu
od. The earth was he
re before us and it
has been given to us
. This allows us to
respond to the charg
e that Judaeo-Christ
ian thinking, on the
 basis of the Genesi
s account which gran
. <i>Gen </i>1:28),
has encouraged the u
nbridled exploitatio
n of nature by paint
ing him as domineeri
ng and destructive b
y nature. This is no
t a correct interpre
tation of the Bible
as understood by the
 Church. Although it
 is true that we Chr
istians have at time
s incorrectly interp
reted the Scriptures
, nowadays we must f
orcefully reject the
 notion that our bei
s image and given do
minion over the eart
h justifies absolute
 domination over oth
er creatures. The bi
blical texts are to
be read in their con
text, with an approp
riate hermeneutic, r
ecognizing that they
en of the world (cf.
to cultivating, plou
ghing or working, wh
ans caring, protecti
ng, overseeing and p
reserving. This impl
31. Greater scarcity
 of water will lead
to an increase in th
e cost of food and t
he various products
which depend on its
use. Some studies wa
rn that an acute wat
er shortage may occu
r within a few decad
es unless urgent act
ion is taken. The en
vironmental repercus
sions could affect b
illions of people; i
t is also conceivabl
e that the control o
f water by large mul
tinational businesse
s may become a major
 source of conflict
in this century.<a n
ame="_ftnref23" titl
e="" href="#_ftn23">
<p align="left"><b>I
resources are also b
eing plundered becau
se of short-sighted
approaches to the ec
onomy, commerce and
production. The loss
 of forests and wood
lands entails the lo
ss of species which
may constitute extre
mely important resou
rces in the future,
not only for food bu
t also for curing di
sease and other uses
. Different species
contain genes which
could be key resourc
es in years ahead fo
r meeting human need
s and regulating env
ironmental problems.
>33. It is not enoug
h, however, to think
 of different specie
s merely as potentia
 be exploited, while
 overlooking the fac
t that they have val
ue in themselves. Ea
ch year sees the dis
appearance of thousa
nds of plant and ani
mal species which we
 will never know, wh
ich our children wil
l never see, because
 they have been lost
 for ever. The great
 majority become ext
inct for reasons rel
ated to human activi
ty. Because of us, t
housands of species
will no longer give
glory to God by thei
r very existence, no
r convey their messa
ge to us. We have no
may well disturb us
to learn of the exti
nction of mammals or
 birds, since they a
re more visible. But
 the good functionin
g of ecosystems also
 requires fungi, alg
ae, worms, insects,
reptiles and an innu
merable variety of m
icroorganisms. Some
less numerous specie
s, although generall
y unseen, nonetheles
s play a critical ro
le in maintaining th
e equilibrium of a p
articular place. Hum
an beings must inter
vene when a geosyste
m reaches a critical
 state. But nowadays
, such intervention
in nature has become
 more and more frequ
ent. As a consequenc
e, serious problems
arise, leading to fu
rther interventions;
 human activity beco
mes ubiquitous, with
 all the risks which
 this entails. Often
 a vicious circle re
sults, as human inte
rvention to resolve
a problem further ag
gravates the situati
on. For example, man
y birds and insects
which disappear due
to synthetic agrotox
ins are helpful for
agriculture: their d
isappearance will ha
ve to be compensated
 for by yet other te
chniques which may w
ell prove harmful. W
e must be grateful f
or the praiseworthy
efforts being made b
y scientists and eng
ineers dedicated to
finding solutions to
 man-made problems.
But a sober look at
our world shows that
 the degree of human
 intervention, often
 in the service of b
usiness interests an
d consumerism, is ac
tually making our ea
rth less rich and be
autiful, ever more l
imited and grey, eve
n as technological a
dvances and consumer
 goods continue to a
bound limitlessly. W
e seem to think that
 we can substitute a
n irreplaceable and
irretrievable beauty
 with something whic
h we have created ou
ssing the environmen
tal impact of any pr
oject, concern is us
ually shown for its
effects on soil, wat
er and air, yet few
careful studies are
made of its impact o
n biodiversity, as i
f the loss of specie
s or animals and pla
nt groups were of li
ttle importance. Hig
hways, new plantatio
ns, the fencing-off
of certain areas, th
e damming of water s
ources, and similar
developments, crowd
out natural habitats
 and, at times, brea
k them up in such a
way that animal popu
lations can no longe
r migrate or roam fr
eely. As a result, s
ome species face ext
inction. Alternative
s exist which at lea
st lessen the impact
 of these projects,
like the creation of
 biological corridor
s, but few countries
 demonstrate such co
ncern and foresight.
 Frequently, when ce
rtain species are ex
ploited commercially
, little attention i
s paid to studying t
heir reproductive pa
tterns in order to p
revent their depleti
on and the consequen
t imbalance of the e
 for ecosystems dema
nds far-sightedness,
 since no one lookin
g for quick and easy
 profit is truly int
erested in their pre
servation. But the c
ost of the damage ca
used by such selfish
 lack of concern is
much greater than th
e economic benefits
to be obtained. Wher
e certain species ar
e destroyed or serio
usly harmed, the val
ues involved are inc
alculable. We can be
 silent witnesses to
 terrible injustices
 if we think that we
 can obtain signific
ant benefits by maki
ng the rest of human
ity, present and fut
ure, pay the extreme
ly high costs of env
ironmental deteriora
ries have made signi
ficant progress in e
stablishing sanctuar
ies on land and in t
he oceans where any
human intervention i
s prohibited which m
ight modify their fe
atures or alter thei
r original structure
s. In the protection
 of biodiversity, sp
ecialists insist on
the need for particu
lar attention to be
shown to areas riche
r both in the number
 of species and in e
ndemic, rare or less
 protected species.
Certain places need
greater protection b
ecause of their imme
nse importance for t
he global ecosystem,
 or because they rep
resent important wat
er reserves and thus
 safeguard other for
us mention, for exam
ple, those richly bi
odiverse lungs of ou
r planet which are t
he Amazon and the Co
ngo basins, or the g
reat aquifers and gl
aciers. We know how
important these are
for the entire earth
 and for the future
of humanity. The eco
systems of tropical
forests possess an e
normously complex bi
odiversity which is
almost impossible to
 appreciate fully, y
et when these forest
s are burned down or
 levelled for purpos
es of cultivation, w
ithin the space of a
 few years countless
 species are lost an
d the areas frequent
ly become arid waste
lands. A delicate ba
lance has to be main
tained when speaking
 about these places,
 for we cannot overl
ook the huge global
economic interests w
hich, under the guis
e of protecting them
, can undermine the
sovereignty of indiv
idual nations. In fa
posals to internatio
nalize the Amazon, w
hich only serve the
economic interests o
f transnational corp
"_ftnref24" title=""
</a> We cannot fail
to praise the commit
ment of internationa
l agencies and civil
 society organizatio
ns which draw public
 attention to these
issues and offer cri
tical cooperation, e
lms frequently exhor
t us to praise God t
pread out the earth
on the waters, for h
is steadfast love en
i>Ps </i> 136:6). Th
ey also invite other
 creatures to join u
 moon, praise him, a
ll you shining stars
! Praise him, you hi
ghest heavens, and y
ou waters above the
heavens! Let them pr
aise the name of the
 Lord, for he comman
ded and they were cr
148:3-5). We do not
s mighty power; we a
lso live with him an
d beside him. This i
s why we adore him.<
73. The writings of
the prophets invite
us to find renewed s
trength in times of
trial by contemplati
ng the all-powerful
God who created the
s infinite power doe
s not lead us to fle
e his fatherly tende
rness, because in hi
m affection and stre
ngth are joined. Ind
eed, all sound spiri
tuality entails both
 welcoming divine lo
ve and adoration, co
nfident in the Lord
because of his infin
ite power. In the Bi
ble, the God who lib
erates and saves is
the same God who cre
ated the universe, a
nd these two divine
ways of acting are i
ntimately and insepa
Ah Lord God! It is y
ou who made the heav
ens and the earth by
 your great power an
d by your outstretch
ed arm! Nothing is t
ou brought your peop
le Israel out of the
 land of Egypt with
 (<i>Jer</i> 32:17,
the everlasting God,
 the Creator of the
ends of the earth. H
e does not faint or
grow weary; his unde
rstanding is unsearc
hable. He gives powe
r to the faint, and
strengthens the powe
experience of the Ba
bylonian captivity p
rovoked a spiritual
crisis which led to
deeper faith in God.
 Now his creative om
nipotence was given
pride of place in or
der to exhort the pe
ople to regain their
 hope in the midst o
f their wretched pre
dicament. Centuries
later, in another ag
e of trial and perse
cution, when the Rom
an Empire was seekin
g to impose absolute
 dominion, the faith
ful would once again
 find consolation an
d hope in a growing
trust in the all-pow
and wonderful are yo
ur deeds, O Lord God
 the Almighty! Just
and true are your wa
5:3). The God who cr
eated the universe o
ut of nothing can al
so intervene in this
 world and overcome
every form of evil.
Injustice is not inv
tuality which forget
s God as all-powerfu
l and Creator is not
 acceptable. That is
 how we end up worsh
ipping earthly power
s, or ourselves usur
ping the place of Go
d, even to the point
 of claiming an unli
mited right to tramp
le his creation unde
rfoot. The best way
to restore men and w
omen to their rightf
ul place, putting an
 end to their claim
to absolute dominion
 over the earth, is
to speak once more o
f the figure of a Fa
ther who creates and
 who alone owns the
world. Otherwise, hu
man beings will alwa
ys try to impose the
ir own laws and inte
rests on reality.</p
daeo-Christian tradi
 loving plan in whic
h every creature has
 its own value and s
ignificance. Nature
is usually seen as a
 system which can be
 studied, understood
 and controlled, whe
reas creation can on
ly be understood as
a gift from the outs
tretched hand of the
 Father of all, and
as a reality illumin
ated by the love whi
ch calls us together
 into universal comm
 word of the Lord th
 This tells us that
the world came about
 as the result of a
decision, not from c
haos or chance, and
this exalts it all t
he more. The creatin
g word expresses a f
ree choice. The univ
erse did not emerge
as the result of arb
itrary omnipotence,
a show of force or a
 desire for self-ass
ertion. Creation is
of the order of love
e fundamental moving
 force in all create
 love all things tha
t exist, and detest
none of the things t
hat you have made; f
or you would not hav
e made anything if y
<i>Wis </i>11:24). E
very creature is thu
s the object of the
s, who gives it its
place in the world.
Even the fleeting li
fe of the least of b
eings is the object
of his love, and in
its few seconds of e
xistence, God enfold
s it with his affect
ion. Saint Basil the
 Great described the
4" title="" href="#_
ftn44">[44]</a> whil
e Dante Alighieri sp
hich moves the sun a
ame="_ftnref45" titl
e="" href="#_ftn45">
[45]</a> Consequentl
y, we can ascend fro
to the greatness of
God and to his lovin
_ftnref46" title=""
 time, Judaeo-Christ
ian thought demythol
ogized nature. While
 continuing to admir
e its grandeur and i
mmensity, it no long
er saw nature as div
ine. In doing so, it
 emphasizes all the
more our human respo
nsibility for nature
. This rediscovery o
f nature can never b
e at the cost of the
 freedom and respons
ibility of human bei
ngs who, as part of
the world, have the
duty to cultivate th
eir abilities in ord
er to protect it and
 develop its potenti
al. If we acknowledg
e the value and the
fragility of nature
and, at the same tim
e, our God-given abi
lities, we can final
ly leave behind the
modern myth of unlim
ited material progre
ss. A fragile world,
 entrusted by God to
 human care, challen
ges us to devise int
elligent ways of dir
ecting, developing a
nd limiting our powe
<p>79. In this unive
rse, shaped by open
and intercommunicati
ng systems, we can d
iscern countless for
ms of relationship a
nd participation. Th
is leads us to think
 of the whole as ope
ndence, within which
 it develops. Faith
allows us to interpr
et the meaning and t
he mysterious beauty
 of what is unfoldin
g. We are free to ap
ply our intelligence
 towards things evol
ving positively, or
towards adding new i
lls, new causes of s
uffering and real se
tbacks. This is what
 makes for the excit
ement and drama of h
uman history, in whi
ch freedom, growth,
salvation and love c
an blossom, or lead
towards decadence an
d mutual destruction
. The work of the Ch
urch seeks not only
to remind everyone o
f the duty to care f
or nature, but at th
ust above all protec
t mankind from self-
me="_ftnref47" title
="" href="#_ftn47">[
 who wishes to work
with us and who coun
ies a relationship o
f mutual responsibil
ity between human be
ings and nature. Eac
h community can take
 from the bounty of
the earth whatever i
t needs for subsiste
nce, but it also has
 the duty to protect
 the earth and to en
sure its fruitfulnes
s for coming generat
i>Ps</i> 24:1); to h
rth with all that is
 </i>10:14). Thus Go
d rejects every clai
m to absolute owners
ll not be sold in pe
rpetuity, for the la
nd is mine; for you
are strangers and so
(<i>Lev</i> 25:23).<
68. This responsibil
h means that human b
eings, endowed with
intelligence, must r
espect the laws of n
ature and the delica
te equilibria existi
ng between the creat
ures of this world,
and they were create
d; and he establishe
d them for ever and
ever; he fixed their
 bounds and he set a
 law which cannot pa
i>148:5b-6). The law
s found in the Bible
 dwell on relationsh
ips, not only among
individuals but also
 with other living b
not see your brother
x fallen down by the
 way and withhold yo
ance to come upon a
 tree or on the grou
nd, with young ones
or eggs and the moth
er sitting upon the
young or upon the eg
gs; you shall not ta
ke the mother with t
/i>22:4, 6). Along t
hese same lines, res
t on the seventh day
 is meant not only f
or human beings, but
r ox and your donkey
i>Ex </i>23:12). Cle
arly, the Bible has
no place for a tyran
nical anthropocentri
sm unconcerned for o
ther creatures.</p>
Together with our ob
ligation to use the
onsibly, we are call
ed to recognize that
 other living beings
 have a value of the
 existence they bles
s him and give him g
nref41" title="" hre
Lord rejoices in all
 </i>104:31). By vir
tue of our unique di
gnity and our gift o
f intelligence, we a
re called to respect
 creation and its in
the Lord by wisdom f
(<i>Prov </i>3:19).
In our time, the Chu
rch does not simply
state that other cre
atures are completel
y subordinated to th
e good of human bein
gs, as if they have
no worth in themselv
es and can be treate
d as we wish. The Ge
rman bishops have ta
ught that, where oth
er creatures are con
eak of the priority
of <i>being</i> over
 that of<i> being us
"_ftnref42" title=""
</a> The Catechism c
learly and forcefull
y criticizes a disto
rted anthropocentris
possesses its own pa
rticular goodness an
 of the various crea
tures, willed in its
 own being, reflects
 in its own way a ra
e wisdom and goodnes
s. Man must therefor
e respect the partic
ular goodness of eve
ry creature, to avoi
d any disordered use
e="_ftnref43" title=
"" href="#_ftn43">[4
ory of Cain and Abel
, we see how envy le
d Cain to commit the
 ultimate injustice
against his brother,
 which in turn ruptu
red the relationship
 between Cain and Go
d, and between Cain
and the earth from w
hich he was banished
. This is seen clear
ly in the dramatic e
xchange between God
and Cain. God asks:
nswers that he does
not know, and God pe
 you done? The voice
 blood is crying to
me from the ground.
And now you are curs
). Disregard for the
 duty to cultivate a
nd maintain a proper
 relationship with m
y neighbour, for who
se care and custody
I am responsible, ru
ins my relationship
with my own self, wi
th others, with God
and with the earth.
When all these relat
ionships are neglect
ed, when justice no
longer dwells in the
 land, the Bible tel
ls us that life itse
lf is endangered. We
 see this in the sto
ry of Noah, where Go
d threatens to do aw
ay with humanity bec
ause of its constant
 failure to fulfil t
he requirements of j
o make an end of all
 flesh; for the eart
h is filled with vio
 These ancient stori
es, full of symbolis
m, bear witness to a
 conviction which we
 today share, that e
verything is interco
nnected, and that ge
nuine care for our o
wn lives and our rel
ationships with natu
re is inseparable fr
om fraternity, justi
ce and faithfulness
s of man was great i
en </i> 6:5) and the
hat he had made man
Gen </i> 6:6), nonet
heless, through Noah
, who remained innoc
ent and just, God de
cided to open a path
 of salvation. In th
is way he gave human
ity the chance of a
new beginning. All i
t takes is one good
person to restore ho
pe! The biblical tra
dition clearly shows
 that this renewal e
ntails recovering an
d respecting the rhy
thms inscribed in na
ture by the hand of
the Creator. We see
this, for example, i
n the law of the Sab
bath. On the seventh
 day, God rested fro
m all his work. He c
ommanded Israel to s
et aside each sevent
h day as a day of re
st, a <i> Sabbath</i
>, (cf. <i>Gen </i>2
:2-3; <i>Ex </i>16:2
3; 20:10). Similarly
, every seven years,
 a sabbatical year w
as set aside for Isr
ael, a complete rest
 for the land (cf. <
i>Lev</i> 25:1-4), w
hen sowing was forbi
dden and one reaped
only what was necess
ary to live on and t
hold (cf. <i>Lev </i
>25:4-6). Finally, a
fter seven weeks of
years, which is to s
ay forty-nine years,
 the Jubilee was cel
ebrated as a year of
 general forgiveness
ughout the land for
5:10). This law came
 about as an attempt
 to ensure balance a
nd fairness in their
 relationships with
others and with the
land on which they l
ived and worked. At
the same time, it wa
s an acknowledgment
that the gift of the
 earth with its frui
ts belongs to everyo
ne. Those who tilled
 and kept the land w
ere obliged to share
 its fruits, especia
lly with the poor, w
ith widows, orphans
and foreigners in th
ou reap the harvest
of your land, you sh
all not reap your fi
eld to its very bord
er, neither shall yo
u gather the gleanin
gs after the harvest
. And you shall not
strip your vineyard
bare, neither shall
you gather the falle
n grapes of your vin
eyard; you shall lea
ve them for the poor
 and for the sojourn
mploying legitimate
means of pressure, t
o ensure that each g
overnment carries ou
t its proper and ina
lienable responsibil
ity to preserve its
ent and natural reso
urces, without capit
ulating to spurious
local or internation
e replacement of vir
gin forest with plan
tations of trees, us
ually monocultures,
is rarely adequately
 analyzed. Yet this
can seriously compro
mise a biodiversity
which the new specie
s being introduced d
oes not accommodate.
 Similarly, wetlands
 converted into cult
ivated land lose the
 enormous biodiversi
ty which they former
ly hosted. In some c
oastal areas the dis
appearance of ecosys
tems sustained by ma
ngrove swamps is a s
ource of serious con
 only contain the bu
 water supply, but a
lso most of the imme
nse variety of livin
g creatures, many of
 them still unknown
to us and threatened
 for various reasons
. What is more, mari
ne life in rivers, l
akes, seas and ocean
s, which feeds a gre
at part of the world
affected by uncontro
lled fishing, leadin
g to a drastic deple
tion of certain spec
ies. Selective forms
 of fishing which di
scard much of what t
hey collect continue
 unabated. Particula
rly threatened are m
arine organisms whic
h we tend to overloo
k, like some forms o
f plankton; they rep
resent a significant
 element in the ocea
n food chain, and sp
ecies used for our f
ood ultimately depen
opical and subtropic
al seas, we find cor
al reefs comparable
to the great forests
 on dry land, for th
ey shelter approxima
tely a million speci
es, including fish,
crabs, molluscs, spo
nges and algae. Many
ral reefs are alread
y barren or in a sta
te of constant decli
e wonderworld of the
 seas into underwate
r cemeteries bereft
" title="" href="#_f
tn25">[25]</a> This
phenomenon is due la
rgely to pollution w
hich reaches the sea
 as the result of de
forestation, agricul
tural monocultures,
industrial waste and
 destructive fishing
 methods, especially
 those using cyanide
 and dynamite. It is
 aggravated by the r
ise in temperature o
f the oceans. All of
 this helps us to se
e that every interve
ntion in nature can
have consequences wh
ich are not immediat
ely evident, and tha
t certain ways of ex
ploiting resources p
rove costly in terms
 of degradation whic
h ultimately<i> </i>
reaches the ocean be
r investment needs t
o be made in researc
h aimed at understan
ding more fully the
functioning of ecosy
stems and adequately
 analyzing the diffe
rent variables assoc
iated with any signi
ficant modification
of the environment.
Because all creature
s are connected, eac
h must be cherished
with love and respec
t, for all of us as
living creatures are
 dependent on one an
other. Each area is
responsible for the
care of this family.
 This will require u
ndertaking a careful
 inventory of the sp
ecies which it hosts
, with a view to dev
eloping programmes a
nd strategies of pro
tection with particu
lar care for safegua
rding species headin
g towards extinction
="left"><b>IV. DECLI
. Human beings too a
re creatures of this
 world, enjoying a r
ight to life and hap
piness, and endowed
with unique dignity.
 So we cannot fail t
o consider the effec
es of environmental
deterioration, curre
nt models of develop
ment and the throwaw
days, for example, w
e are conscious of t
he disproportionate
and unruly growth of
 many cities, which
have become unhealth
y to live in, not on
ly because of pollut
ion caused by toxic
emissions but also a
s a result of urban
chaos, poor transpor
tation, and visual p
ollution and noise.
Many cities are huge
, inefficient struct
ures, excessively wa
steful of energy and
 water. Neighbourhoo
ds, even those recen
tly built, are conge
sted, chaotic and la
cking in sufficient
green space. We were
 not meant to be inu
ndated by cement, as
phalt, glass and met
al, and deprived of
physical contact wit
e places, rural and
urban alike, the pri
vatization of certai
n spaces has restric
s to places of parti
cular beauty. In oth
e been created which
 are closed to outsi
ders in order to ens
ure an artificial tr
anquillity. Frequent
ly, we find beautifu
l and carefully mani
cured green spaces i
 but not in the more
 hidden areas where
the disposable of so
social dimensions of
 global change inclu
de the effects of te
chnological innovati
ons on employment, s
ocial exclusion, an
inequitable distribu
tion and consumption
 of energy and other
 services, social br
eakdown, increased v
iolence and a rise i
n new forms of socia
l aggression, drug t
rafficking, growing
drug use by young pe
ople, and the loss o
f identity. These ar
e signs that the gro
wth of the past two
centuries has not al
ways led to an integ
ral development and
an improvement in th
e quality of life. S
ome of these signs a
re also symptomatic
of real social decli
ne, the silent ruptu
re of the bonds of i
ntegration and socia
hermore, when media
and the digital worl
d become omnipresent
, their influence ca
n stop people from l
earning how to live
wisely, to think dee
ply and to love gene
rously. In this cont
ext, the great sages
 of the past run the
 risk of going unhea
rd amid the noise an
d distractions of an
 information overloa
d. Efforts need to b
e made to help these
 media become source
s of new cultural pr
ogress for humanity
and not a threat to
our deepest riches.
True wisdom, as the
fruit of self-examin
ation, dialogue and
generous encounter b
etween persons, is n
ot acquired by a mer
e accumulation of da
ta which eventually
leads to overload an
d confusion, a sort
of mental pollution.
 Real relationships
with others, with al
l the challenges the
y entail, now tend t
o be replaced by a t
ype of internet comm
unication which enab
les us to choose or
eliminate relationsh
ips at whim, thus gi
ving rise to a new t
ype of contrived emo
tion which has more
to do with devices a
nd displays than wit
h other people and w
s media do enable us
 to communicate and
to share our knowled
ge and affections. Y
et at times they als
o shield us from dir
ect contact with the
 pain, the fears and
 the joys of others
and the complexity o
f their personal exp
eriences. For this r
eason, we should be
ts on our cooperatio
n, can also bring go
od out of the evil w
Holy Spirit can be s
aid to possess an in
finite creativity, p
roper to the divine
mind, which knows ho
w to loosen the knot
s of human affairs,
including the most c
omplex and inscrutab
ef48" title="" href=
"#_ftn48">[48]</a> C
reating a world in n
eed of development,
God in some way soug
ht to limit himself
in such a way that m
any of the things we
 think of as evils,
dangers or sources o
f suffering, are in
reality part of the
pains of childbirth
which he uses to dra
w us into the act of
 cooperation with th
e Creator.<a name="_
ftnref49" title="" h
a> God is intimately
 present to each bei
ng, without impingin
g on the autonomy of
 his creature, and t
his gives rise to th
e rightful autonomy
of earthly affairs.<
a name="_ftnref50" t
itle="" href="#_ftn5
0">[50]</a> His divi
ne presence, which e
nsures the subsisten
ce and growth of eac
s the work of creati
ef51" title="" href=
"#_ftn51">[51]</a> T
he Spirit of God has
 filled the universe
 with possibilities
and therefore, from
the very heart of th
ings, something new
other than a certain
 kind of art, namely
sed upon things, whe
reby those things ar
e moved to a determi
nate end. It is as i
f a shipbuilder were
 able to give timber
s the wherewithal to
 move themselves to
take the form of a s
ref52" title="" href
81. Human beings, ev
en if we postulate a
 process of evolutio
n, also possess a un
iqueness which canno
t be fully explained
 by the evolution of
 other open systems.
 Each of us has his
or her own personal
identity and is capa
ble of entering into
 dialogue with other
s and with God himse
lf. Our capacity to
reason, to develop a
rguments, to be inve
ntive, to interpret
reality and to creat
e art, along with ot
her not yet discover
ed capacities, are s
igns of a uniqueness
 which transcends th
e spheres of physics
 and biology. The sh
eer novelty involved
 in the emergence of
 a personal being wi
thin a material univ
erse presupposes a d
irect action of God
and a particular cal
l to life and to rel
ationship on the par
o addresses himself
unts of creation inv
ite us to see each h
uman being as a subj
ect who can never be
 reduced to the stat
us of an object. </p
. Yet it would also
be mistaken to view
other living beings
as mere objects subj
ected to arbitrary h
uman domination. Whe
n nature is viewed s
olely as a source of
 profit and gain, th
is has serious conse
quences for society.
 engendered immense
inequality, injustic
e and acts of violen
ce against the major
ity of humanity, sin
ce resources end up
in the hands of the
first comer or the m
ost powerful: the wi
nner takes all. Comp
letely at odds with
this model are the i
deals of harmony, ju
stice, fraternity an
d peace as proposed
by Jesus. As he said
 of the powers of hi
ow that the rulers o
f the Gentiles lord
it over them, and th
eir great men exerci
se authority over th
em. It shall not be
so among you; but wh
oever would be great
 among you must be y
t </i>20:25-26).</p>
 The ultimate destin
y of the universe is
 in the fullness of
God, which has alrea
dy been attained by
the risen Christ, th
e measure of the mat
urity of all things.
<a name="_ftnref53"
title="" href="#_ftn
53">[53]</a> Here we
 can add yet another
 argument for reject
ing every tyrannical
 and irresponsible d
omination of human b
eings over other cre
atures. The ultimate
 purpose of other cr
eatures is not to be
 found in us. Rather
, all creatures are
moving forward with
us and through us to
wards a common point
 of arrival, which i
s God, in that trans
cendent fullness whe
re the risen Christ
embraces and illumin
es all things. Human
 beings, endowed wit
h intelligence and l
ove, and drawn by th
e fullness of Christ
, are called to lead
 all creatures back
to their Creator.</p
r insistence that ea
ch human being is an
 image of God should
 not make us overloo
k the fact that each
 creature has its ow
n purpose. None is s
uperfluous. The enti
re material universe
ove, his boundless a
ffection for us. Soi
l, water, mountains:
 everything is, as i
t were, a caress of
God. The history of
our friendship with
God is always linked
 to particular place
s which take on an i
ntensely personal me
aning; we all rememb
er places, and revis
iting those memories
 does us much good.
Anyone who has grown
 up in the hills or
used to sit by the s
pring to drink, or p
layed outdoors in th
e neighbourhood squa
re; going back to th
ese places is a chan
ce to recover someth
ing of their true se
itten a precious boo
are the multitude of
 created things pres
4" title="" href="#_
ftn54">[54]</a> The
Canadian bishops rig
htly pointed out tha
t no creature is exc
luded from this mani
as to the tiniest li
ving form, nature is
 a constant source o
f wonder and awe. It
 is also a continuin
g revelation of the
ftnref55" title="" h
a> The bishops of Ja
pan, for their part,
 made a thought-prov
oking<b> </b>observa
ch creature singing
the hymn of its exis
tence is to live joy
e="_ftnref56" title=
"" href="#_ftn56">[5
6]</a> This contempl
ation of creation al
lows us to discover
in each thing a teac
hing which God wishe
s to hand on to us,
iever, to contemplat
e creation is to hea
r a message, to list
en to a paradoxical
<a name="_ftnref57"
concerned that, alon
gside the exciting p
ossibilities offered
 by these media, a d
eep and melancholic
dissatisfaction with
 interpersonal relat
ions, or a harmful s
ense of isolation, c
p>48. The human envi
ronment and the natu
ral environment dete
riorate together; we
 cannot adequately c
ombat environmental
degradation unless w
e attend to causes r
elated to human and
social degradation.
In fact, the deterio
ration of the enviro
nment and of society
 affects the most vu
lnerable people on t
veryday experience a
nd scientific resear
ch show that the gra
vest effects of all
attacks on the envir
onment are suffered
 name="_ftnref26" ti
tle="" href="#_ftn26
">[26]</a> For examp
le, the depletion of
 fishing reserves es
pecially hurts small
 fishing communities
 without the means t
o replace those reso
urces; water polluti
on particularly affe
cts the poor who can
not buy bottled wate
r; and rises in the
sea level mainly aff
ect impoverished coa
stal populations who
 have nowhere else t
o go. The impact of
present imbalances i
s also seen in the p
remature death of ma
ny of the poor, in c
onflicts sparked by
the shortage of reso
urces, and in any nu
mber of other proble
ms which are insuffi
ciently represented
on global agendas.<a
 name="_ftnref27" ti
tle="" href="#_ftn27
eds to be said that,
 generally speaking,
 there is little in
the way of clear awa
reness of problems w
hich especially affe
ct the excluded. Yet
 they are the majori
 population, billion
s of people. These d
ays, they are mentio
ned in international
 political and econo
mic discussions, but
 one often has the i
mpression that their
 problems are brough
t up as an afterthou
ght, a question whic
h gets added almost
out of duty or in a
tangential way, if n
ot treated merely as
 collateral damage.
Indeed, when all is
said and done, they
frequently remain at
 the bottom of the p
ile. This is due par
tly to the fact that
 many professionals,
 opinion makers, com
munications media an
d centres of power,
being located in aff
luent urban areas, a
re far removed from
the poor, with littl
e direct contact wit
h their problems. Th
ey live and reason f
rom the comfortable
position of a high l
evel of development
and a quality of lif
e well beyond the re
ach of the majority
ulation. This lack o
f physical contact a
nd encounter, encour
aged at times by the
 disintegration of o
ur cities, can lead
to a numbing of cons
cience and to tenden
tious analyses which
 neglect parts of re
ality. At times this
 attitude exists sid
oday, however, we ha
ve to realize that a
 true ecological app
roach<i> always</i>
becomes a social app
roach; it must integ
rate questions of ju
stice in debates on
the environment, so
as to hear <i>both t
he cry of the earth
and the cry of the p
 of resolving the pr
oblems of the poor a
nd thinking of how t
he world can be diff
erent, some can only
 propose a reduction
 in the birth rate.
At times, developing
 countries face form
s of international p
ressure which make e
conomic assistance c
ontingent on certain
rue that an unequal
distribution of the
population and of av
ailable resources cr
eates obstacles to d
evelopment and a sus
tainable use of the
environment, it must
 nonetheless be reco
gnized that demograp
hic growth is fully
compatible with an i
ntegral and shared d
e="_ftnref28" title=
"" href="#_ftn28">[2
8]</a> To blame popu
lation growth instea
d of extreme and sel
ective consumerism o
n the part of some,
is one way of refusi
ng to face the issue
s. It is an attempt
to legitimize the pr
esent model of distr
ibution, where a min
ority believes that
it has the right to
consume in a way whi
ch can never be univ
ersalized, since the
 planet could not ev
en contain the waste
 products of such co
nsumption. Besides,
we know that approxi
mately a third of al
l food produced is d
never food is thrown
 out it is as if it
were stolen from the
" title="" href="#_f
tn29">[29]</a> Still
, attention needs to
 be paid to imbalanc
es in population den
sity, on both nation
al and global levels
, since a rise in co
nsumption would lead
 to complex regional
 situations, as a re
sult of the interpla
y between problems l
inked to environment
al pollution, transp
ort, waste treatment
, loss of resources
and quality of life.
>51. Inequity affect
s not only individua
ls but entire countr
ies; it compels us t
o consider an ethics
 of international re
ists, particularly b
etween the global no
rth and south, conne
cted to commercial i
mbalances with effec
ts on the environmen
t, and the dispropor
tionate use of natur
al resources by cert
ain countries over l
ong periods of time.
 The export of raw m
aterials to satisfy
markets in the indus
trialized north has
caused harm locally,
 as for example in m
ercury pollution in
gold mining or sulph
ur dioxide pollution
 in copper mining. T
here is a pressing n
eed to calculate the
 use of environmenta
l space throughout t
he world for deposit
ing gas residues whi
ch have been accumul
ating for two centur
ies and have created
 a situation which c
urrently affects all
 the countries of th
e world. The warming
 caused by huge cons
umption on the part
of some rich countri
es has repercussions
 on the poorest area
s of the world, espe
cially Africa, where
 a rise in temperatu
re, together with dr
ought, has proved de
vastating for farmin
g. There is also the
 damage caused by th
e export of solid wa
ste and toxic liquid
s to developing coun
tries, and by the po
llution produced by
companies which oper
ate in less develope
d countries in ways
they could never do
at home, in the coun
tries in which they
raise their capital:
en the businesses wh
ich operate this way
 are multinationals.
 They do here what t
hey would never do i
n developed countrie
s or the so-called f
irst world. Generall
y, after ceasing the
ir activity and with
drawing, they leave
behind great human a
nd environmental lia
bilities such as une
mployment, abandoned
 towns, the depletio
n of natural reserve
s, deforestation, th
e impoverishment of
agriculture and loca
l stock breeding, op
en pits, riven hills
, polluted rivers an
d a handful of socia
l works which are no
0" title="" href="#_
The foreign debt of
poor countries has b
ecome a way of contr
title="" href="#_ftn
57">[57]</a> We can
e revelation properl
y so-called, contain
ed in sacred Scriptu
re, there is a divin
e manifestation in t
he blaze of the sun
and the fall of nigh
f58" title="" href="
#_ftn58">[58]</a> Pa
ying attention to th
is manifestation, we
 learn to see oursel
ves in relation to a
ll other creatures:
in expressing the wo
rld; in my effort to
 decipher the sacred
ness of the world, I
a name="_ftnref59" t
itle="" href="#_ftn5
universe as a whole,
 in all its manifold
 relationships, show
s forth the inexhaus
tible riches of God.
 Saint Thomas Aquina
s wisely noted that
multiplicity and var
e intention of the f
s wanting to one in
the representation o
f the divine goodnes
s might be supplied
e="_ftnref60" title=
"" href="#_ftn60">[6
0]</a> inasmuch as G
ould not be represen
ted fittingly by any
name="_ftnref61" tit
le="" href="#_ftn61"
>[61]</a> Hence we n
eed to grasp the var
iety of things in th
eir multiple relatio
nships.<a name="_ftn
ref62" title="" href
We understand better
 the importance and
meaning of each crea
ture if we contempla
te it within the ent
n. As the Catechism
s the interdependenc
e of creatures. The
sun and the moon, th
e cedar and the litt
le flower, the eagle
 and the sparrow: th
e spectacle of their
 countless diversiti
es and inequalities
tells us that no cre
ature is self-suffic
ient. Creatures exis
t only in dependence
 on each other, to c
omplete each other,
in the service of ea
"_ftnref63" title=""
 see God reflected i
n all that exists, o
ur hearts are moved
to praise the Lord f
or all his creatures
 and to worship him
in union with them.
This sentiment finds
 magnificent express
ion in the hymn of S
aint Francis of Assi
 my Lord, with all y
our creatures,<br />
 especially Sir Brot
her Sun,<br /> who i
s the day and throug
h whom you give us l
ight. <br /> And he
is beautiful and rad
iant with great sple
ndour;<br /> and bea
rs a likeness of you
, Most High.<br /> P
raised be you, my Lo
rd, through Sister M
oon and the stars,<b
r /> in heaven you f
ormed them clear and
 precious and beauti
ful.<br /> Praised b
e you, my Lord, thro
ugh Brother Wind,<br
 /> and through the
air, cloudy and sere
ne, and every kind o
f weather <br /> thr
ough whom you give s
ustenance to your cr
eatures.<br /> Prais
ed be you, my Lord,
through Sister Water
,<br /> who is very
useful and humble an
d precious and chast
e.<br /> Praised be
you, my Lord, throug
h Brother Fire, <br
/> through whom you
light the night, <br
 /> and he is beauti
ful and playful and
.<a name="_ftnref64"
 title="" href="#_ft
e bishops of Brazil
have pointed out tha
t nature as a whole
not only manifests G
od but is also a loc
us of his presence.
The Spirit of life d
wells in every livin
g creature and calls
 us to enter into re
lationship with him.
<a name="_ftnref65"
title="" href="#_ftn
65">[65]</a> Discove
ring this presence l
eads us to cultivate
ftnref66" title="" h
a> This is not to fo
rget that there is a
n infinite distance
between God and the
things of this world
, which do not posse
ss his fullness. Oth
erwise, we would not
 be doing the creatu
res themselves any g
ood either, for we w
ould be failing to a
cknowledge their rig
ht and proper place.
 We would end up und
uly demanding of the
m something which th
ey, in their smallne
ss, cannot give us.<
created things of th
is world are not fre
or they are yours, O
 Lord, who love the
i>11:26). This is th
e basis of our convi
ction that, as part
of the universe, cal
led into being by on
e Father, all of us
are linked by unseen
 bonds and together
form a kind of unive
rsal family, a subli
me communion which f
ills us with a sacre
d, affectionate and
humble respect. Here
 I would reiterate t
d us so closely to t
he world around us t
hat we can feel the
desertification of t
he soil almost as a
physical ailment, an
d the extinction of
a species as a painf
<a name="_ftnref67"
title="" href="#_ftn
s is not to put all
living beings on the
 same level nor to d
eprive human beings
of their unique wort
h and the tremendous
 responsibility it e
ntails. Nor does it
imply a divinization
 of the earth which
would prevent us fro
m working on it and
protecting it in its
 fragility. Such not
ions would end up cr
eating new imbalance
s which would deflec
t us from the realit
y which challenges u
s.<a name="_ftnref68
" title="" href="#_f
tn68">[68]</a> At ti
mes we see an obsess
ion with denying any
 pre-eminence to the
 human person; more
zeal is shown in pro
tecting other specie
s than in defending
the dignity which al
l human beings share
 in equal measure. C
ertainly, we should
be concerned lest ot
her living beings be
 treated irresponsib
ly. But we should be
 particularly indign
ant at the enormous
inequalities in our
midst, whereby we co
ntinue to tolerate s
ome considering them
selves more worthy t
han others. We fail
to see that some are
 mired in desperate
and degrading povert
y, with no way out,
while others have no
t the faintest idea
of what to do with t
heir possessions, va
inly showing off the
ir supposed superior
ity and leaving behi
nd them so much wast
e which, if it were
the case everywhere,
 would destroy the p
lanet. In practice,
we continue to toler
ate that some consid
er themselves more h
uman than others, as
 if they had been bo
rn with greater righ
eep communion with t
he rest of nature ca
nnot be real if our
hearts lack tenderne
ss, compassion and c
oncern for our fello
w human beings. It i
s clearly inconsiste
nt to combat traffic
king in endangered s
pecies while remaini
ng completely indiff
erent to human traff
icking, unconcerned
about the poor, or u
ndertaking to destro
y another human bein
g deemed unwanted. T
his compromises the
very meaning of our
struggle for the sak
e of the environment
. It is no coinciden
ce that, in the cant
icle in which Saint
Francis praises God
for his creatures, h
ord, through those w
ho give pardon for y
ing is connected. Co
ncern for the enviro
nment thus needs to
be joined to a since
re love for our fell
ow human beings and
an unwavering commit
ment to resolving th
e problems of societ
<p>92. Moreover, whe
n our hearts are aut
hentically open to u
niversal communion,
this sense of frater
nity excludes nothin
g and no one. It fol
lows that our indiff
erence or cruelty to
wards fellow creatur
es of this world soo
ner or later affects
 the treatment we me
te out to other huma
n beings. We have on
ly one heart, and th
e same wretchedness
which leads us to mi
streat an animal wil
l not be long in sho
wing itself in our r
elationships with ot
her people. Every ac
t of cruelty towards
contrary to human di
tnref69" title="" hr
> We can hardly cons
ider ourselves to be
 fully loving if we
disregard any aspect
e, justice and the p
reservation of creat
ion are three absolu
tely interconnected
themes, which cannot
 be separated and tr
eated individually w
ithout once again fa
lling into reduction
ref70" title="" href
Everything is relate
d, and we human bein
gs are united as bro
thers and sisters on
 a wonderful pilgrim
age, woven together
by the love God has
for each of his crea
tures and which also
 unites us in fond a
ffection with brothe
r sun, sister moon,
brother river and mo
hether believers or
not, we are agreed t
oday that the earth
is essentially a sha
red inheritance, who
se fruits are meant
to benefit everyone.
 For believers, this
 becomes a question
of fidelity to the C
reator, since God cr
eated the world for
everyone. Hence ever
y ecological approac
h needs to incorpora
te a social perspect
ive which takes into
 account the fundame
ntal rights of the p
oor and the underpri
vileged. The princip
le of the subordinat
ion of private prope
rty to the universal
 destination of good
s, and thus the righ
t of everyone to the
ir use, is a golden
rule of social condu
principle of the who
le ethical and socia
_ftnref71" title=""
/a> The Christian tr
adition has never re
cognized the right t
o private property a
s absolute or inviol
able, and has stress
ed the social purpos
e of all forms of pr
ivate property. Sain
t John Paul II force
fully reaffirmed thi
s teaching, stating
 earth to the whole
human race for the s
ustenance of all its
 members, <i>without
 excluding or favour
 name="_ftnref72" ti
tle="" href="#_ftn72
">[72]</a> These are
 strong words. He no
f development which
did not respect and
promote human rights
cial, economic and p
olitical, including
the rights of nation
 would not be really
 name="_ftnref73" ti
tle="" href="#_ftn73
">[73]</a> He clearl
the Church does inde
ed defend the legiti
mate right to privat
e property, but she
also teaches no less
 clearly that there
is always a social m
ortgage on all priva
te property, in orde
r that goods may ser
ve the general purpo
se that God gave the
f74" title="" href="
#_ftn74">[74]</a> Co
nsequently, he maint
ft be used in such a
 way that its benefi
ts favour only a few
75" title="" href="#
_ftn75">[75]</a> Thi
s calls into serious
 question the unjust
 habits of a part of
 humanity.<a name="_
ftnref76" title="" h
<p>94. The rich and
the poor have equal
Lord is the maker of
imself made both sma
se on the evil and o
 </i> 5:45). This ha
s practical conseque
nces, such as those
pointed out by the b
ishops of Paraguay:
o</i> has a natural
right to possess a r
easonable allotment
of land where he can
 establish his home,
 work for subsistenc
e of his family and
a secure life. This
right must be guaran
teed so that its exe
rcise is not illusor
y but real. That mea
ns that apart from t
he ownership of prop
erty, rural people m
ust have access to m
eans of technical ed
ucation, credit, ins
7" title="" href="#_
The natural environm
ent is a collective
good, the patrimony
of all humanity and
the responsibility o
f everyone. If we ma
ke something our own
, it is only to admi
nister it for the go
od of all. If we do
not, we burden our c
onsciences with the
weight of having den
ied the existence of
 others. That is why
 the New Zealand bis
hops asked what the
mes resources at a r
ate that robs the po
or nations and futur
e generations of wha
t they need to survi
ef78" title="" href=
"#_ftn78">[78]</a> <
took up the biblical
 faith in God the Cr
eator, emphasizing a
 fundamental truth:
God is Father (cf. <
i>Mt</i> 11:25). In
talking with his dis
ciples, Jesus would
invite them to recog
nize the paternal re
lationship God has w
ith all his creature
s. With moving tende
rness he would remin
d them that each one
 of them is importan
ows sold for two pen
nies? And not one of
 them is forgotten b
t the birds of the a
ir: they neither sow
 nor reap nor gather
 into barns, and yet
 your heavenly Fathe
/i>(<i>Mt</i> 6:26).
>97. The Lord was ab
le to invite others
to be attentive to t
he beauty that there
 is in the world bec
ause he himself was
in constant touch wi
th nature, lending i
t an attention full
of fondness and wond
er. As he made his w
ay throughout the la
nd, he often stopped
 to contemplate the
beauty sown by his F
ather, and invited h
is disciples to perc
eive a divine messag
 up your eyes, and s
ee how the fields ar
e already white for
dom of God is like a
 grain of mustard se
ed which a man took
and sowed in his fie
ld; it is the smalle
st of all seeds, but
 once it has grown,
it is the greatest o
<i>Mt</i> 13:31-32).
>98. Jesus lived in
full harmony with cr
eation, and others w
sort of man is this,
 that even the winds
 and the sea obey hi
27). His appearance
was not that of an a
scetic set apart fro
m the world, nor of
an enemy to the plea
sant things of life.
 Of himself he said:
ame eating and drink
<i>Mt </i>11:19). He
 was far removed fro
m philosophies which
 despised the body,
matter and the thing
s of the world. Such
 unhealthy dualisms,
 nonetheless, left a
 mark on certain Chr
istian thinkers in t
he course of history
 and disfigured the
Gospel. Jesus worked
 with his hands, in
daily contact with t
he matter created by
 God, to which he ga
ve form by his craft
smanship. It is stri
king that most of hi
s life was dedicated
 to this task in a s
imple life which awa
kened no admiration
is the carpenter, th
i>Mk </i> 6:3). In t
his way he sanctifie
d human labour and e
ndowed it with a spe
cial significance fo
r our development. A
s Saint John Paul II
ing the toil of work
 in union with Chris
t crucified for us,
man in a way collabo
rates with the Son o
f God for the redemp
<a name="_ftnref79"
title="" href="#_ftn
the Christian unders
tanding of the world
, the destiny of all
 creation is bound u
p with the mystery o
f Christ, present fr
n created though him
Col </i>1:16).<a nam
e="_ftnref80" title=
"" href="#_ftn80">[8
0]</a> The prologue
of the Gospel of Joh
n (1:1-18) reveals C
ork as the Divine Wo
rd (<i>Logos</i>). B
ut then, unexpectedl
y, the prologue goes
 on to say that this
>1:14). One Person o
f the Trinity entere
d into the created c
osmos, throwing in h
is lot with it, even
 to the cross. From
the beginning of the
 world, but particul
arly through the inc
arnation, the myster
y of Christ is at wo
rk in a hidden manne
r in the natural wor
ld as a whole, witho
ut thereby impinging
 on its autonomy. </
00. The New Testamen
t does not only tell
 us of the earthly J
esus and his tangibl
e and loving relatio
nship with the world
. It also shows him
risen and glorious,
present throughout c
reation by his unive
r in him all the ful
lness of God was ple
ased to dwell, and t
hrough him to reconc
ile to himself all t
hings, whether on ea
rth or in heaven, ma
king peace by the bl
(<i>Col </i>1:19-20)
. This leads us to d
irect our gaze to th
e end of time, when
the Son will deliver
 all things to the F
d may be everything
1 Cor </i>15:28). Th
us, the creatures of
 this world no longe
r appear to us under
 merely natural guis
e because the risen
One is mysteriously
holding them to hims
elf and directing th
em towards fullness
as their end. The ve
ry flowers of the fi
eld and the birds wh
ich his human eyes c
ontemplated and admi
red are now imbued w
ith his radiant pres
="center">CHAPTER TH
01. It would hardly
be helpful to descri
be symptoms without
acknowledging the hu
man origins of the e
cological crisis. A
certain way of under
standing human life
and activity has gon
e awry, to the serio
us detriment of the
world around us. Sho
uld we not pause and
 consider this? At t
his stage, I propose
 that we focus on th
e dominant technocra
tic paradigm and the
 place of human bein
gs and of human acti
on in the world.</p>
102. Humanity has en
tered a new era in w
hich our technical p
rowess has brought u
s to a crossroads. W
e are the beneficiar
ies of two centuries
 of enormous waves o
f change: steam engi
nes, railways, the t
elegraph, electricit
y, automobiles, aero
planes, chemical ind
ustries, modern medi
cine, information te
chnology and, more r
ecently, the digital
 revolution, robotic
s, biotechnologies a
nd nanotechnologies.
 It is right to rejo
ice in these advance
s and to be excited
by the immense possi
bilities which they
continue to open up
ience and technology
 are wonderful produ
cts of a God-given h
a name="_ftnref81" t
itle="" href="#_ftn8
1">[81]</a> The modi
fication of nature f
or useful purposes h
as distinguished the
 human family from t
he beginning; techno
sses the inner tensi
on that impels man g
radually to overcome
 material limitation
f82" title="" href="
#_ftn82">[82]</a> Te
chnology has remedie
d countless evils wh
ich used to harm and
 limit human beings.
 How can we not feel
 gratitude and appre
ciation for this pro
gress, especially in
 the fields of medic
ine, engineering and
 communications? How
 could we not acknow
ledge the work of ma
ny scientists and en
gineers who have pro
vided alternatives t
o make development s
hnoscience, when wel
l directed, can prod
uce important means
of improving the qua
lity of human life,
from useful domestic
 appliances to great
 transportation syst
ems, bridges, buildi
ngs and public space
s. It can also produ
ce art and enable me
n and women immersed
 in the material wor
o the world of beaut
y. Who can deny the
beauty of an aircraf
t or a skyscraper? V
aluable works of art
 and music now make
use of new technolog
ies. So, in the beau
ty intended by the o
ne who uses new tech
nical instruments an
d in the contemplati
on of such beauty, a
 quantum leap occurs
, resulting in a ful
filment which is uni
t it must also be re
cognized that nuclea
r energy, biotechnol
ogy, information tec
hnology, knowledge o
f our DNA, and many
other abilities whic
h we have acquired,
have given us tremen
dous power. More pre
cisely, they have gi
ven those with the k
nowledge, and especi
ally the economic re
sources to use them,
 an impressive domin
ance over the whole
of humanity and the
entire world. Never
has humanity had suc
h power over itself,
 yet nothing ensures
 that it will be use
d wisely, particular
ly when we consider
how it is currently
being used. We need
but think of the nuc
lear bombs dropped i
n the middle of the
twentieth century, o
r the array of techn
ology which Nazism,
Communism and other
totalitarian regimes
 have employed to ki
ll millions of peopl
e, to say nothing of
 the increasingly de
adly arsenal of weap
ons available for mo
dern warfare. In who
se hands does all th
9Mined by AntPool sc0
 Nicole LeCody loves Cloud U
is power lie, or wil
l it eventually end
up? It is extremely
risky for a small pa
rt of humanity to ha
 a tendency to belie
ve that every increa
ecurity, usefulness,
 welfare and vigour;
of new values into t
he stream of culture
83" title="" href="#
_ftn83">[83]</a> as
if reality, goodness
 and truth automatic
ally flow from techn
ological and economi
c power as such. The
temporary man has no
t been trained to us
ame="_ftnref84" titl
e="" href="#_ftn84">
[84]</a> because our
 immense technologic
al development has n
ot been accompanied
by a development in
human responsibility
, values and conscie
nce. Each age tends
to have only a meagr
e awareness of its o
wn limitations. It i
s possible that we d
o not grasp the grav
ity of the challenge
The risk is growing
day by day that man
will not use his pow
is never considered
in terms of the resp
onsibility of choice
 which is inherent i
 taken from alleged
necessity, from eith
er utility or securi
ef85" title="" href=
"#_ftn85">[85]</a> B
ut human beings are
not completely auton
omous. Our freedom f
ades when it is hand
ed over to the blind
 forces of the uncon
scious, of immediate
 needs, of self-inte
rest, and of violenc
e. In this sense, we
 stand naked and exp
osed in the face of
our ever-increasing
power, lacking the w
herewithal to contro
l it. We have certai
n superficial mechan
isms, but we cannot
claim to have a soun
d ethics, a culture
and spirituality gen
uinely capable of se
tting limits and tea
ching clear-minded s
p>106. The basic pro
blem goes even deepe
r: it is the way tha
t humanity has taken
 up technology and i
ts development <i>ac
cording to an undiff
erentiated and one-d
imensional paradigm<
/i>. This paradigm e
xalts the concept of
 a subject who, usin
g logical and ration
al procedures, progr
essively approaches
and gains control ov
er an external objec
t. This subject make
s every effort to es
tablish the scientif
ic and experimental
method, which in its
elf is already a tec
hnique of possession
, mastery and transf
ormation. It is as i
f the subject were t
o find itself in the
 presence of somethi
ng formless, complet
ely open to manipula
tion. Men and women
have constantly inte
rvened in nature, bu
t for a long time th
is meant being in tu
ne with and respecti
ng the possibilities
 offered by the thin
gs themselves. It wa
s a matter of receiv
ing what nature itse
lf allowed, as if fr
om its own hand. Now
, by contrast, we ar
e the ones to lay ou
r hands on things, a
ttempting to extract
 everything possible
 from them while fre
quently ignoring or
forgetting the reali
ty in front of us. H
uman beings and mate
rial objects no long
er extend a friendly
 hand to one another
; the relationship h
as become confrontat
ional. This has made
 it easy to accept t
he idea of infinite
or unlimited growth,
 which proves so att
ractive to economist
s, financiers and ex
perts in technology.
 It is based on the
lie that there is an
 infinite supply of
 and this leads to t
he planet being sque
ezed dry beyond ever
y limit. It is the f
an infinite quantity
 of energy and resou
rces are available,
that it is possible
to renew them quickl
y, and that the nega
tive effects of the
exploitation of the
natural order can be
<a name="_ftnref86"
title="" href="#_ftn
 can be said that ma
ny problems of today
 the tendency, at ti
mes unconscious, to
make the method and
aims of science and
technology an episte
mological paradigm w
hich shapes the live
s of individuals and
 the workings of soc
iety. The effects of
 imposing this model
 on reality as a who
le, human and social
, are seen in the de
terioration of the e
nvironment, but this
 is just one sign of
 a reductionism whic
h affects every aspe
ct of human and soci
al life. We have to
accept that technolo
gical products are n
ot neutral, for they
 create a framework
which ends up condit
ioning lifestyles an
d shaping social pos
sibilities along the
 lines dictated by t
he interests of cert
ain powerful groups.
 Decisions which may
 seem purely instrum
ental are in reality
 decisions about the
 kind of society we
The idea of promotin
g a different cultur
al paradigm and empl
oying technology as
a mere instrument is
 nowadays inconceiva
ble. The technologic
al paradigm has beco
me so dominant that
it would be difficul
t to do without its
resources and even m
ore difficult to uti
lize them without be
ing dominated by the
ir internal logic. I
t has become counter
cultural to choose a
 lifestyle whose goa
ls are even partly i
ndependent of techno
logy, of its costs a
nd its power to glob
alize and make us al
l the same. Technolo
gy tends to absorb e
verything into its i
ronclad logic, and t
hose who are surroun
ded with technology
at it moves forward
in the final analysi
s neither for profit
 nor for the well-be
ing of the human rac
 most radical sense
of the term power is
a name="_ftnref87" t
itle="" href="#_ftn8
7">[87]</a> As a res
old of the naked ele
ments of both nature
.<a name="_ftnref88"
 title="" href="#_ft
n88">[88]</a> Our ca
pacity to make decis
ions, a more genuine
 freedom and the spa
alternative creativi
ty are diminished.</
09. The technocratic
 paradigm also tends
 to dominate economi
c and political life
. The economy accept
s every advance in t
echnology with a vie
w to profit, without
 concern for its pot
entially negative im
pact on human beings
. Finance overwhelms
 the real economy. T
he lessons of the gl
obal financial crisi
s have not been assi
milated, and we are
learning all too slo
wly the lessons of e
nvironmental deterio
ration. Some circles
 maintain that curre
nt economics and tec
hnology will solve a
ll environmental pro
blems, and argue, in
 popular and non-tec
hnical terms, that t
he problems of globa
l hunger and poverty
 will be resolved si
mply by market growt
h. They are less con
cerned with certain
economic theories wh
ich today scarcely a
nybody dares defend,
 than with their act
ual operation in the
 functioning of the
economy. They may no
t affirm such theori
es with words, but n
onetheless support t
hem with their deeds
 by showing no inter
est in more balanced
 levels of productio
n, a better distribu
tion of wealth, conc
ern for the environm
ent and the rights o
f future generations
. Their behaviour sh
ows that for them ma
ximizing profits is
enough. Yet by itsel
f the market cannot
guarantee integral h
uman development and
 social inclusion.<a
 name="_ftnref89" ti
tle="" href="#_ftn89
">[89]</a> At the sa
steful and consumeri
st kind which forms
an unacceptable cont
rast with the ongoin
g situations of dehu
manizing deprivation
90" title="" href="#
_ftn90">[90]</a> whi
le we are all too sl
ow in developing eco
nomic institutions a
nd social initiative
s which can give the
 poor regular access
 to basic resources.
 We fail to see the
deepest roots of our
 present failures, w
hich have to do with
 the direction, goal
s, meaning and socia
l implications of te
chnological and econ
p>110. The specializ
ation which belongs
to technology makes
it difficult to see
the larger picture.
The fragmentation of
 knowledge proves he
lpful for concrete a
pplications, and yet
 it often leads to a
 loss of appreciatio
n for the whole, for
 the relationships b
etween things, and f
or the broader horiz
on, which then becom
es irrelevant. This
very fact makes it h
ard to find adequate
 ways of solving the
 more complex proble
d, particularly thos
e regarding the envi
ronment and the poor
; these problems can
not be dealt with fr
om a single perspect
ive or from a single
 set of interests. A
 science which would
 offer solutions to
the great issues wou
ld necessarily have
to take into account
 the data generated
by other fields of k
nowledge, including
philosophy and socia
l ethics; but this i
s a difficult habit
to acquire today. No
r are there genuine
ethical horizons to
which one can appeal
. Life gradually bec
omes a surrender to
situations condition
ed by technology, it
self viewed as the p
rincipal key to the
meaning of existence
. In the concrete si
tuation confronting
us, there are a numb
er of symptoms which
 point to what is wr
ong, such as environ
mental degradation,
anxiety, a loss of t
he purpose of life a
nd of community livi
ng. Once more we see
re more important th
"_ftnref91" title=""
 culture cannot be r
educed to a series o
f urgent and partial
 responses to the im
mediate problems of
pollution, environme
ntal decay and the d
epletion of natural
resources. There nee
ds to be a distincti
ve way of looking at
 things, a way of th
inking, policies, an
 educational program
me, a lifestyle and
a spirituality which
 together generate r
esistance to the ass
ault of the technocr
atic paradigm. Other
wise, even the best
ecological initiativ
es can find themselv
es caught up in the
same globalized logi
c. To seek only a te
chnical remedy to ea
ch environmental pro
blem which comes up
is to separate what
is in reality interc
onnected and to mask
 the true and deepes
t problems of the gl
t we can once more b
roaden our vision. W
e have the freedom n
eeded to limit and d
irect technology; we
 can put it at the s
ervice of another ty
pe of progress, one
which is healthier,
more human, more soc
ial, more integral.
Liberation from the
dominant technocrati
c paradigm does in f
act happen sometimes
, for example, when
cooperatives of smal
l producers adopt le
ss polluting means o
f production, and op
t for a non-consumer
ist model of life, r
ecreation and commun
ity. Or when technol
ogy is directed prim
arily to resolving p
roblems, truly helpi
ng them live with mo
re dignity and less
suffering. Or indeed
 when the desire to
create and contempla
te beauty manages to
 overcome reductioni
sm through a kind of
 salvation which occ
urs in beauty and in
 those who behold it
. An authentic human
ity, calling for a n
ew synthesis, seems
to dwell in the mids
t of our technologic
al culture, almost u
nnoticed, like a mis
t seeping gently ben
eath a closed door.
Will the promise las
t, in spite of every
thing, with all that
 is authentic rising
 up in stubborn resi
s also the fact that
 people no longer se
em to believe in a h
appy future; they no
 longer have blind t
rust in a better tom
orrow based on the p
resent state of the
world and our techni
cal abilities. There
 is a growing awaren
ess that scientific
and technological pr
ogress cannot be equ
ated with the progre
ss of humanity and h
istory, a growing se
nse that the way to
a better future lies
 elsewhere. This is
not to reject the po
ssibilities which te
chnology continues t
o offer us. But huma
nity has changed pro
foundly, and the acc
umulation of constan
t novelties exalts a
 superficiality whic
h pulls us in one di
rection. It becomes
difficult to pause a
nd recover depth in
life. If architectur
e reflects the spiri
t of an age, our meg
astructures and drab
 apartment blocks ex
press the spirit of
globalized technolog
y, where a constant
flood of new product
s coexists with a te
dious monotony. Let
us refuse to resign
ourselves to this, a
nd continue to wonde
r about the purpose
and meaning of every
thing. Otherwise we
would simply legitim
ate the present situ
ation and need new f
orms of escapism to
help us endure the e
f this shows the urg
ent need for us to m
ove forward in a bol
d cultural revolutio
n. Science and techn
ology are not neutra
l; from the beginnin
g to the end of a pr
ocess, various inten
tions and possibilit
ies are in play and
can take on distinct
 shapes. Nobody is s
uggesting a return t
o the Stone Age, but
 we do need to slow
down and look at rea
lity in a different
way, to appropriate
the positive and sus
tainable progress wh
ich has been made, b
ut also to recover t
he values and the gr
eat goals swept away
 by our unrestrained
 delusions of grande
nthropocentrism has
paradoxically ended
up prizing technical
 thought over realit
nological mind sees
nature as an insensa
te order, as a cold
body of facts, as a
 an object of utilit
y, as raw material t
o be hammered into u
seful shape; it view
s the cosmos similar
cts can be thrown wi
th complete indiffer
nref92" title="" hre
 The intrinsic digni
ty of the world is t
hus compromised. Whe
n human beings fail
to find their true p
lace in this world,
they misunderstand t
hemselves and end up
 acting against them
has God given the ea
rth to man, who must
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 30352495 km to Pluto.
Mined by AntPool bj5
 use it with respect
 for the original go
od purpose for which
 it was given, but,
ift to man. He must
therefore respect th
e natural and moral
structure with which
 he has been endowed
93" title="" href="#
. Modernity has been
 marked by an excess
ive anthropocentrism
 which today, under
another guise, conti
nues to stand in the
 way of shared under
standing and of any
effort to strengthen
 social bonds. The t
ime has come to pay
renewed attention to
 reality and the lim
its it imposes; this
 in turn is the cond
ition for a more sou
nd and fruitful deve
lopment of individua
ls and society. An i
nadequate presentati
on of Christian anth
ropology gave rise t
o a wrong understand
ing of the relations
hip between human be
ings and the world.
Often, what was hand
ed on was a Promethe
an vision of mastery
 over the world, whi
ch gave the impressi
on that the protecti
on of nature was som
ething that only the
 faint-hearted cared
 about. Instead, our
 the universe should
 be understood more
properly in the sens
e of responsible ste
wardship.<a name="_f
tnref94" title="" hr
p>117. Neglecting to
 monitor the harm do
ne to nature and the
 environmental impac
t of our decisions i
s only the most stri
king sign of a disre
gard for the message
 contained in the st
ructures of nature i
tself. When we fail
to acknowledge as pa
rt of reality the wo
rth of a poor person
, a human embryo, a
person with disabili
lt to hear the cry o
f nature itself; eve
rything is connected
. Once the human bei
ng declares independ
ence from reality an
d behaves with absol
ute dominion, the ve
ry foundations of ou
r life begin to crum
of carrying out his
role as a cooperator
 with God in the wor
k of creation, man s
ets himself up in pl
ace of God and thus
ends up provoking a
rebellion on the par
me="_ftnref95" title
="" href="#_ftn95">[
tuation has led to a
 constant schizophre
nia, wherein a techn
ocracy which sees no
 intrinsic value in
lesser beings coexis
ts with the other ex
treme, which sees no
 special value in hu
man beings. But one
cannot prescind from
 humanity. There can
 be no renewal of ou
r relationship with
nature without a ren
ewal of humanity its
elf. There can be no
 ecology without an
adequate anthropolog
y. When the human pe
rson is considered a
s simply one being a
mong others, the pro
duct of chance or ph
ysical determinism,
sense of responsibil
="_ftnref96" title="
" href="#_ftn96">[96
]</a> A misguided an
thropocentrism need
not necessarily yiel
ntail adding yet ano
ther imbalance, fail
ing to solve present
 problems and adding
 new ones. Human bei
ngs cannot be expect
ed to feel responsib
ility for the world
unless, at the same
time, their unique c
apacities of knowled
ge, will, freedom an
d responsibility are
 recognized and valu
e critique of a misg
uided anthropocentri
sm underestimate the
 importance of inter
personal relations.
If the present ecolo
gical crisis is one
small sign of the et
hical, cultural and
spiritual crisis of
modernity, we cannot
 presume to heal our
 relationship with n
ature and the enviro
nment without healin
g all fundamental hu
man relationships. C
hristian thought see
s human beings as po
ssessing a particula
r dignity above othe
r creatures; it thus
 inculcates esteem f
or each person and r
espect for others. O
ur openness to other
s, each of whom is a
of knowing, loving a
nd entering into dia
logue, remains the s
ource of our nobilit
y as human persons.
A correct relationsh
ip with the created
world demands that w
e not weaken this so
cial dimension of op
enness to others, mu
ch less the transcen
dent dimension of ou
 relationship with t
he environment can n
ever be isolated fro
m our relationship w
ith others and with
God. Otherwise, it w
ould be nothing more
 than romantic indiv
idualism dressed up
in ecological garb,
locking us into a st
ifling immanence.</p
0. Since everything
is interrelated, con
cern for the protect
ion of nature is als
o incompatible with
the justification of
 abortion. How can w
e genuinely teach th
e importance of conc
ern for other vulner
able beings, however
 troublesome or inco
nvenient they may be
, if we fail to prot
ect a human embryo,
even when its presen
ce is uncomfortable
and creates difficul
 and social sensitiv
ity towards the acce
ptance of the new li
fe is lost, then oth
er forms of acceptan
ce that are valuable
 for society also wi
="_ftnref97" title="
" href="#_ftn97">[97
o develop a new synt
hesis capable of ove
rcoming the false ar
guments of recent ce
nturies. Christianit
y, in fidelity to it
s own identity and t
he rich deposit of t
ruth which it has re
ceived from Jesus Ch
rist, continues to r
eflect on these issu
es in fruitful dialo
gue with changing hi
storical situations.
 In doing so, it rev
eals its eternal new
ness.<a name="_ftnre
f98" title="" href="
>Practical relativis
ed anthropocentrism
leads to a misguided
 lifestyle. In the A
postolic Exhortation
 <i> <a href="http:/
m.html">Evangelii Ga
udium</a>,</i> I not
ed that the practica
l relativism typical
en more dangerous th
an doctrinal relativ
ref99" title="" href
When human beings pl
ace themselves at th
e centre, they give
absolute priority to
 immediate convenien
ce and all else beco
mes relative. Hence
we should not be sur
prised to find, in c
onjunction with the
omnipresent technocr
atic paradigm and th
e cult of unlimited
human power, the ris
e of a relativism wh
ich sees everything
as irrelevant unless
wn immediate interes
ts. There is a logic
 in all this whereby
 different attitudes
 can feed on one ano
ther, leading to env
ironmental degradati
on and social decay.
>123. The culture of
 relativism is the s
ame disorder which d
rives one person to
take advantage of an
other, to treat othe
rs as mere objects,
imposing forced labo
ur on them or enslav
ing them to pay thei
r debts. The same ki
nd of thinking leads
 to the sexual explo
itation of children
and abandonment of t
he elderly who no lo
nger serve our inter
ests. It is also the
 mindset of those wh
o say: Let us allow
the invisible forces
 of the market to re
gulate the economy,
and consider their i
mpact on society and
 nature as collatera
l damage. In the abs
ence of objective tr
uths or sound princi
ples other than the
satisfaction of our
own desires and imme
diate needs, what li
mits can be placed o
n human trafficking,
 organized crime, th
e drug trade, commer
ce in blood diamonds
 and the fur of enda
ngered species? Is i
t not the same relat
ivistic logic which
justifies buying the
 organs of the poor
for resale or use in
 experimentation, or
 eliminating childre
n because they are n
ot what their parent
s wanted? This same
 so much waste, beca
use of the disordere
d desire to consume
more than what is re
ally necessary. We s
hould not think that
 political efforts o
r the force of law w
ill be sufficient to
 prevent actions whi
ch affect the enviro
nment because, when
the culture itself i
s corrupt and object
ive truth and univer
sally valid principl
es are no longer uph
eld, then laws can o
nly be seen as arbit
rary impositions or
obstacles to be avoi
protect employment</
<p>124. Any approach
 to an integral ecol
ogy, which by defini
tion does not exclud
e human beings, need
s to take account of
 the value of labour
, as Saint John Paul
 II wisely noted in
his Encyclical <i> <
a href="
Laborem Exercens</a>
</i>. According to t
he biblical account
of creation, God pla
ced man and woman in
 the garden he had c
reated (cf. <i>Gen <
/i>2:15) not only to
>Sir </i>38:34). Dev
eloping the created
world in a prudent w
ay is the best way o
f caring for it, as
this means that we o
urselves become the
instrument used by G
od to bring out the
potential which he h
imself inscribed in
created medicines ou
t of the earth, and
a sensible man will
(<i>Sir </i>38:4).</
25. If we reflect on
 the proper relation
ship between human b
eings and the world
around us, we see th
e need for a correct
 understanding of wo
rk; if we talk about
 the relationship be
tween human beings a
nd things, the quest
ion arises as to the
 meaning and purpose
 of all human activi
ty. This has to do n
ot only with manual
or agricultural labo
ur but with any acti
vity involving a mod
ification of existin
g reality, from prod
ucing a social repor
t to the design of a
 technological devel
opment. Underlying e
very form of work is
 a concept of the re
lationship which we
can and must have wi
th what is other tha
n ourselves. Togethe
r with the awe-fille
d contemplation of c
reation which we fin
d in Saint Francis o
f Assisi, the Christ
ian spiritual tradit
ion has also develop
ed a rich and balanc
ed understanding of
the meaning of work,
 as, for example, in
 the life of Blessed
 Charles de Foucauld
 and his followers.<
126. We can also loo
k to the great tradi
tion of monasticism.
 Originally, it was
a kind of flight fro
m the world, an esca
pe from the decadenc
e of the cities. The
 monks sought the de
sert, convinced that
 it was the best pla
ce for encountering
the presence of God.
 Later, Saint Benedi
ct of Norcia propose
d that his monks liv
e in community, comb
ining prayer and spi
ritual reading with
manual labour (<i>or
a et labora</i>). Se
eing manual labour a
s spiritually meanin
gful proved revoluti
onary. Personal grow
th and sanctificatio
n came to be sought
in the interplay of
recollection and wor
k. This way of exper
iencing work makes u
s more protective an
d respectful of the
environment; it imbu
es our relationship
to the world with a
healthy sobriety.</p
7. We are convinced
ource, the focus and
 the aim of all econ
omic and social life
100" title="" href="
Nonetheless, once ou
r human capacity for
 contemplation and r
everence is impaired
, it becomes easy fo
r the meaning of wor
k to be misunderstoo
d.<a name="_ftnref10
1" title="" href="#_
ftn101">[101]</a> We
 need to remember th
at men and women hav
 improve their lot,
to further their mor
al growth and to dev
elop their spiritual
me="_ftnref102" titl
e="" href="#_ftn102"
>[102]</a> Work shou
ld be the setting fo
r this rich personal
 growth, where many
aspects of life ente
r into play: creativ
ity, planning for th
e future, developing
 our talents, living
 out our values, rel
ating to others, giv
ing glory to God. It
 follows that, in th
t is essential that
ioritize the goal of
 access to steady em
ployment for everyon
f103" title="" href=
 no matter the limit
ed interests of busi
ness and dubious eco
nomic reasoning. </p
8. We were created w
ith a vocation to wo
rk. The goal should
not be that technolo
gical progress incre
asingly replace huma
n work, for this wou
ld be detrimental to
 humanity. Work is a
 necessity, part of
the meaning of life
on this earth, a pat
h to growth, human d
evelopment and perso
nal fulfilment. Help
ing the poor financi
ally must always be
a provisional soluti
on in the face of pr
essing needs. The br
oader objective shou
ld always be to allo
w them a dignified l
ife through work. Ye
t the orientation of
 the economy has fav
oured a kind of tech
nological progress i
n which the costs of
 production are redu
ced by laying off wo
rkers and replacing
them with machines.
This is yet another
way in which we can
end up working again
st ourselves. The lo
ss of jobs also has
a negative impact on
ugh the progressive
erosion of social ca
pital: the network o
f relationships of t
rust, dependability,
 and respect for rul
es, all of which are
 indispensable for a
ny form of civil coe
"_ftnref104" title="
" href="#_ftn104">[1
04]</a> In other wor
lways include econom
ic costs, and econom
ic dysfunctions alwa
ys involve human cos
ef105" title="" href
> To stop investing
in people, in order
to gain greater shor
t-term financial gai
n, is bad business f
order to continue pr
oviding employment,
it is imperative to
promote an economy w
hich favours product
ive diversity and bu
siness creativity. F
or example, there is
 a great variety of
small-scale food pro
duction systems whic
h feed the greater p
 peoples, using a mo
dest amount of land
and producing less w
aste, be it in small
 agricultural parcel
s, in orchards and g
ardens, hunting and
wild harvesting or l
ocal fishing. Econom
ies of scale, especi
ally in the agricult
ural sector, end up
forcing smallholders
 to sell their land
or to abandon their
traditional crops. T
heir attempts to mov
e to other, more div
ersified, means of p
roduction prove frui
tless because of the
 difficulty of linka
ge with regional and
 global markets, or
because the infrastr
ucture for sales and
 transport is geared
 to larger businesse
s. Civil authorities
 have the right and
duty to adopt clear
and firm measures in
 support of small pr
oducers and differen
tiated production. T
o ensure economic fr
eedom from which all
 can effectively ben
efit, restraints occ
asionally have to be
 imposed on those po
ssessing greater res
ources and financial
 power. To claim eco
nomic freedom while
real<i> </i>conditio
ns bar many people f
rom actual access to
 it, and while possi
bilities for employm
ent continue to shri
nk, is to practise a
 doublespeak which b
rings politics into
disrepute. Business
is a noble vocation,
 directed to produci
ng wealth and improv
ing our world. It ca
n be a fruitful sour
ce of prosperity for
 the areas in which
it operates, especia
lly if it sees the c
reation of jobs as a
n essential part of
its service to the c
iological technologi
hilosophical and the
ological vision of t
he human being and o
f creation which I h
ave presented, it is
 clear that the huma
n person, endowed wi
th reason and knowle
dge, is not an exter
nal factor to be exc
luded. While human i
ntervention on plant
s and animals is per
missible when it per
tains to the necessi
ties of human life,
the <i>Catechism of
the Catholic Church
</i>teaches that exp
erimentation on anim
als is morally accep
remains within reaso
nable limits [and] c
ontributes to caring
 for or saving human
ftnref106" title=""
]</a> The <i>Catechi
sm</i> firmly states
 that human power ha
uman dignity to caus
e animals to suffer
.<a name="_ftnref107
" title="" href="#_f
tn107">[107]</a> All
 such use and experi
s a religious respec
t for the integrity
me="_ftnref108" titl
e="" href="#_ftn108"
 I would recall the
balanced position of
 Saint John Paul II,
 who stressed the be
nefits of scientific
 and technological p
rogress as evidence
f the human vocation
 to participate resp
hile also noting tha
fere in one area of
the ecosystem withou
t paying due attenti
on to the consequenc
es of such interfere
9" title="" href="#_
ftn109">[109]</a> He
 made it clear that
the Church values th
e benefits which res
y and applications o
f molecular biology,
 supplemented by oth
er disciplines such
as genetics, and its
 technological appli
cation in agricultur
 name="_ftnref110" t
itle="" href="#_ftn1
10">[110]</a> But he
 also pointed out th
at this should not l
nate genetic manipul
nref111" title="" hr
/a> which ignores th
e negative effects o
f such interventions
. Human creativity c
annot be suppressed.
 If an artist cannot
 be stopped from usi
ng his or her creati
vity, neither should
 those who possess p
articular gifts for
the advancement of s
cience and technolog
y be prevented from
using their God-give
n talents for the se
rvice of others. We
need constantly to r
ethink the goals, ef
fects, overall conte
xt and ethical limit
s of this human acti
vity, which is a for
m of power involving
 considerable risks.
>132. This, then, is
 the correct framewo
rk for any reflectio
n concerning human i
Mined by AntPool sc182
d thus in constant i
nteraction with it.
Recognizing the reas
ons why a given area
 is polluted require
s a study of the wor
kings of society, it
s economy, its behav
iour patterns, and t
he ways it grasps re
ality. Given the sca
le of change, it is
no longer possible t
o find a specific, d
iscrete answer for e
ach part of the prob
lem. It is essential
 to seek comprehensi
ve solutions which c
onsider the interact
ions within natural
systems themselves a
nd with social syste
ms. We are faced not
 with two separate c
rises, one environme
ntal and the other s
ocial, but rather wi
th one complex crisi
s which is both soci
al and environmental
. Strategies for a s
olution demand an in
tegrated approach to
 combating poverty,
restoring dignity to
 the excluded, and a
t the same time prot
Due to the number an
d variety of factors
 to be taken into ac
count when determini
ng the environmental
 impact of a concret
e undertaking, it is
 essential to give r
esearchers their due
 role, to facilitate
 their interaction,
and to ensure broad
academic freedom. On
going research shoul
d also give us a bet
ter understanding of
 how different creat
ures relate to one a
nother in making up
the larger units whi
ke these systems int
o account not only t
o determine how best
 to use them, but al
so because they have
 an intrinsic value
independent of their
 usefulness. Each or
ganism, as a creatur
e of God, is good an
d admirable in itsel
f; the same is true
of the harmonious en
semble of organisms
existing in a define
d space and function
ing as a system. Alt
hough we are often n
ot aware of it, we d
epend on these large
r systems for our ow
n existence. We need
 only recall how eco
systems interact in
dispersing carbon di
oxide, purifying wat
er, controlling illn
esses and epidemics,
 forming soil, break
ing down waste, and
in many other ways w
hich we overlook or
simply do not know a
bout. Once they beco
me conscious of this
, many people realiz
e that we live and a
ct on the basis of a
 reality which has p
reviously been given
 to us, which preced
es our existence and
 our abilities. So,
consideration must a
lways be given to ea
enerative ability in
 its different areas
conomic growth, for
its part, tends to p
roduce predictable r
eactions and a certa
in standardization w
ith the aim of simpl
ifying procedures an
d reducing costs. Th
is suggests the need
f appealing to a bro
ader vision of reali
ty. The protection o
f the environment is
ral part of the deve
lopment process and
cannot be considered
 in isolation from i
f114" title="" href=
 We urgently need a
humanism capable of
bringing together th
e different fields o
f knowledge, includi
ng economics, in the
 service of a more i
ntegral and integrat
ing vision. Today, t
he analysis of envir
onmental problems ca
nnot be separated fr
om the analysis of h
uman, family, work-r
elated and urban con
texts, nor from how
individuals relate t
o themselves, which
leads in turn to how
 they relate to othe
rs and to the enviro
nment. There is an i
nterrelation between
 ecosystems and betw
een the various sphe
res of social intera
ction, demonstrating
he whole is greater
name="_ftnref115" ti
tle="" href="#_ftn11
 everything is relat
ed, then the health
titutions has conseq
uences for the envir
onment and the quali
solidarity and civic
 friendship harms th
name="_ftnref116" ti
ntervention on plant
s and animals, which
 at present includes
 genetic manipulatio
n by biotechnology f
or the sake of explo
iting the potential
present in material
reality. The respect
 owed by faith to re
ason calls for close
 attention to what t
he biological scienc
es, through research
 uninfluenced by eco
nomic interests, can
 teach us about biol
ogical structures, t
heir possibilities a
nd their mutations.
Any legitimate inter
vention will act on
nature only in order
velopment in its own
 line, that of creat
ion, as intended by
ref112" title="" hre
cult to make a gener
al judgement about g
enetic modification
(GM), whether vegeta
ble or animal, medic
al or agricultural,
since these vary gre
atly among themselve
s and call for speci
fic considerations.
The risks involved a
re not always due to
 the techniques used
, but rather to thei
r improper or excess
ive application. Gen
etic mutations, in f
act, have often been
, and continue to be
, caused by nature i
tself. Nor are mutat
ions caused by human
 intervention a mode
rn phenomenon. The d
omestication of anim
als, the crossbreedi
ng of species and ot
her older and univer
sally accepted pract
ices can be mentione
d as examples. We ne
ed but recall that s
cientific developmen
ts in GM cereals beg
an with the observat
ion of natural bacte
ria which spontaneou
sly modified plant g
enomes. In nature, h
owever, this process
 is slow and cannot
be compared to the f
ast pace induced by
contemporary technol
ogical advances, eve
n when the latter bu
ild upon several cen
turies of scientific
hough no conclusive
proof exists that GM
 cereals may be harm
ful to human beings,
 and in some regions
 their use has broug
ht about economic gr
owth which has helpe
d to resolve problem
s, there remain a nu
mber of significant
difficulties which s
hould not be underes
timated. In many pla
ces, following the i
ntroduction of these
 crops, productive l
and is concentrated
in the hands of a fe
he progressive disap
pearance of small pr
oducers, who, as a c
onsequence of the lo
ss of the exploited
lands, are obliged t
o withdraw from dire
name="_ftnref113" ti
tle="" href="#_ftn11
3">[113]</a> The mos
t vulnerable of thes
e become temporary l
abourers, and many r
ural workers end up
moving to poverty-st
ricken urban areas.
The expansion of the
se crops has the eff
ect of destroying th
e complex network of
 ecosystems, diminis
hing the diversity o
f production and aff
ecting regional econ
omies, now and in th
e future. In various
 countries, we see a
n expansion of oligo
polies for the produ
ction of cereals and
 other products need
ed for their cultiva
tion. This dependenc
y would be aggravate
d were the productio
n of infertile seeds
 to be considered; t
he effect would be t
o force farmers to p
urchase them from la
rger producers. </p>
. Certainly, these i
ssues require consta
nt attention and a c
oncern for their eth
ical implications. A
 broad, responsible
scientific and socia
l debate needs to ta
ke place, one capabl
e of considering all
 the available infor
mation and of callin
g things by their na
me. It sometimes hap
pens that complete i
nformation is not pu
t on the table; a se
lection is made on t
he basis of particul
ar interests, be the
y politico-economic
or ideological. This
 makes it difficult
to reach a balanced
and prudent judgemen
t on different quest
ions, one which take
s into account all t
he pertinent variabl
es. Discussions are
needed in which all
those directly or in
directly affected (f
armers, consumers, c
ivil authorities, sc
ientists, seed produ
cers, people living
near fumigated field
s, and others) can m
ake known their prob
lems and concerns, a
nd have access to ad
equate and reliable
information in order
 to make decisions f
or the common good,
present and future.
This is a complex en
vironmental issue; i
t calls for a compre
hensive approach whi
ch would require, at
 the very least, gre
ater efforts to fina
nce various lines of
 independent, interd
isciplinary research
 capable of shedding
 new light on the pr
ther hand, it is tro
ubling that, when so
me ecological moveme
nts defend the integ
rity of the environm
ent, rightly demandi
ng that certain limi
ts be imposed on sci
entific research, th
ey sometimes fail to
 apply those same pr
inciples to human li
fe. There is a tende
ncy to justify trans
gressing all boundar
ies when experimenta
tion is carried out
on living human embr
yos. We forget that
the inalienable wort
h of a human being t
ranscends his or her
 degree of developme
nt. In the same way,
 when technology dis
regards the great et
hical principles, it
 ends up considering
 any practice whatso
ever as licit. As we
 have seen in this c
hapter, a technology
 severed from ethics
 will not easily be
able to limit its ow
p align="center"><b>
ince everything is c
losely interrelated,
ems call for a visio
n capable of taking
into account every a
spect of the global
crisis, I suggest th
at we now consider s
ome elements of an<i
> integral ecology</
i>, one which clearl
y respects its human
 and social dimensio
8. Ecology studies t
he relationship betw
een living organisms
 and the environment
 in which they devel
op. This necessarily
 entails reflection
and debate about the
 conditions required
 for the life and su
rvival of society, a
nd the honesty neede
d to question certai
n models of developm
ent, production and
consumption. It cann
ot be emphasized eno
ugh how everything i
s interconnected. Ti
me and space are not
 independent of one
another, and not eve
n atoms or subatomic
 particles can be co
nsidered in isolatio
n. Just as the diffe
rent aspects of the
 chemical and biolog
lated, so too living
 species are part of
 a network which we
will never fully exp
lore and understand.
 A good part of our
genetic code is shar
ed by many living be
ings. It follows tha
t the fragmentation
of knowledge and the
 isolation of bits o
f information can ac
tually become a form
 of ignorance, unles
s they are integrate
d into a broader vis
ion of reality.</p>
 When we speak of th
 what we really mean
 is a relationship e
xisting between natu
re and the society w
hich lives in it. Na
ture cannot be regar
ded as something sep
arate from ourselves
 or as a mere settin
g in which we live.
We are part of natur
e, included in it an
tle="" href="#_ftn11
6">[116]</a> In this
 sense, social ecolo
gy is necessarily in
stitutional, and gra
dually extends to th
e whole of society,
from the primary soc
ial group, the famil
y, to the wider loca
l, national and inte
rnational communitie
s. Within each socia
l stratum, and betwe
en them, institution
s develop to regulat
e human relationship
s. Anything which we
akens those institut
ions has negative co
nsequences, such as
injustice, violence
and loss of freedom.
 A number of countri
es have a relatively
 low level of instit
utional effectivenes
s, which results in
greater problems for
 their people while
benefiting those who
 profit from this si
tuation. Whether in
the administration o
f the state, the var
ious levels of civil
 society, or relatio
nships between indiv
iduals themselves, l
ack of respect for t
he law is becoming m
ore common. Laws may
 be well framed yet
remain a dead letter
. Can we hope, then,
 that in such cases,
 legislation and reg
ulations dealing wit
h the environment wi
ll really prove effe
ctive? We know, for
example, that countr
ies which have clear
 legislation about t
he protection of for
ests continue to kee
p silent as they wat
ch laws repeatedly b
eing broken. Moreove
r, what takes place
in any one area can
have a direct or ind
irect influence on o
ther areas. Thus, fo
r example, drug use
in affluent societie
s creates a continua
l and growing demand
 for products import
ed from poorer regio
ns, where behaviour
is corrupted, lives
are destroyed, and t
he environment conti
nues to deteriorate.
er with the patrimon
y of nature, there i
s also an historic,
artistic and cultura
l patrimony which is
 likewise under thre
at. This patrimony i
s a part of the shar
ed identity of each
place and a foundati
on upon which to bui
ld a habitable city.
 It is not a matter
of tearing down and
building new cities,
 supposedly more res
pectful of the envir
onment yet not alway
s more attractive to
 live in. Rather, th
ere is a need to inc
orporate the history
, culture and archit
ecture of each place
, thus preserving it
s original identity.
 Ecology, then, also
 involves protecting
 the cultural treasu
res of humanity in t
he broadest sense. M
ore specifically, it
 calls for greater a
ttention to local cu
ltures when studying
 environmental probl
ems, favouring a dia
logue between scient
ific-technical langu
age and the language
 of the people. Cult
ure is more than wha
t we have inherited
from the past; it is
 also, and above all
, a living, dynamic
and participatory pr
esent reality, which
 cannot be excluded
as we rethink the re
lationship between h
uman beings and the
 consumerist vision
of human beings, enc
ouraged by the mecha
lobalized economy, h
as a levelling effec
t on cultures, dimin
ishing the immense v
ariety which is the
heritage of all huma
nity. Attempts to re
solve all problems t
hrough uniform regul
ations or technical
interventions can le
ad to overlooking th
e complexities of lo
cal problems which d
emand the active par
ticipation of all me
mbers of the communi
ty. New processes ta
king shape cannot al
ways fit into framew
orks imported from o
utside; they need to
 be based in the loc
al culture itself. A
s life and the world
 are dynamic realiti
es, so our care for
the world must also
be flexible and dyna
mic. Merely technica
l solutions run the
risk of addressing s
ymptoms and not the
more serious underly
ing problems. There
is a need to respect
 the rights of peopl
es and cultures, and
 to appreciate that
the development of a
 social group presup
poses an historical
process which takes
place within a cultu
ral context and dema
nds the constant and
 active involvement
of local people <i>f
rom within their pro
per culture</i>. Nor
 can the notion of t
he quality of life b
e imposed from witho
ut, for quality of l
ife must be understo
od within the world
of symbols and custo
ms proper to each hu
y intensive forms of
 environmental explo
itation and degradat
ion not only exhaust
 the resources which
 provide local commu
nities with their li
velihood, but also u
ndo the social struc
tures which, for a l
ong time, shaped cul
tural identity and t
heir sense of the me
aning of life and co
mmunity.<b> </b> The
 disappearance of a
culture can be just
as serious, or even
more serious, than t
he disappearance of
a species of plant o
r animal. The imposi
tion of a dominant l
ifestyle linked to a
 single form of prod
uction can be just a
s harmful as the alt
ering of ecosystems.
p>146. In this sense
, it is essential to
 show special care f
or indigenous commun
ities and their cult
ural traditions. The
y are not merely one
 minority among othe
rs, but should be th
e principal dialogue
 partners, especiall
y when large project
s affecting their la
nd are proposed. For
 them, land is not a
 commodity but rathe
r a gift from God an
d from their ancesto
rs who rest there, a
 sacred space with w
hich they need to in
teract if they are t
o maintain their ide
ntity and values. Wh
en they remain on th
eir land, they thems
elves care for it be
st. Nevertheless, in
 various parts of th
e world, pressure is
 being put on them t
o abandon their home
lands to make room f
or agricultural or m
ining projects which
 are undertaken with
out regard for the d
egradation of nature
 and culture. <br cl
F DAILY LIFE</b></p>
. Authentic developm
ent includes efforts
 to bring about an i
ntegral improvement
in the quality of hu
man life, and this e
ntails considering t
he setting in which
people live their li
ves. These settings
influence the way we
 think, feel and act
. In our rooms, our
homes, our workplace
s and neighbourhoods
, we use our environ
ment as a way of exp
ressing our identity
. We make every effo
rt to adapt to our e
nvironment, but when
 it is disorderly, c
haotic or saturated
with noise and uglin
ess, such overstimul
ation makes it diffi
cult to find ourselv
es integrated and ha
ble creativity and g
enerosity is shown b
y persons and groups
 who respond to envi
ronmental limitation
s by alleviating the
 adverse effects of
their surroundings a
nd learning to orien
t their lives amid d
isorder and uncertai
nty. For example, in
 some places, where
the fa&ccedil;ades o
f buildings are dere
lict, people show gr
eat care for the int
erior of their homes
, or find contentmen
t in the kindness an
d friendliness of ot
hers. A wholesome so
cial life can light
up a seemingly undes
irable environment.
At times a commendab
le human ecology is
practised by the poo
r despite numerous h
ardships. The feelin
g of asphyxiation br
ought on by densely
populated residentia
l areas is countered
 if close and warm r
elationships develop
, if communities are
 created, if the lim
itations of the envi
ronment are compensa
ted for in the inter
ior of each person w
ho feels held within
 a network of solida
rity and belonging.
In this way, any pla
ce can turn from bei
ng a hell on earth i
nto the setting for
a dignified life.</p
9. The extreme pover
ty experienced in ar
eas lacking harmony,
 open spaces or pote
ntial for integratio
n, can lead to incid
ents of brutality an
d to exploitation by
 criminal organizati
ons. In the unstable
 neighbourhoods of m
ega-cities, the dail
y experience of over
crowding and social
anonymity can create
 a sense of uprooted
ness which spawns an
tisocial behaviour a
nd violence. Nonethe
less, I wish to insi
st that love always
proves more powerful
. Many people in the
se conditions are ab
le to weave bonds of
 belonging and toget
herness which conver
t overcrowding into
an experience of com
munity in which the
walls of the ego are
 torn down and the b
arriers of selfishne
ss overcome. This ex
perience of a commun
itarian salvation of
ten generates creati
ve ideas for the imp
rovement of a buildi
ng or a neighbourhoo
d.<a name="_ftnref11
7" title="" href="#_
0. Given the interre
lationship between l
iving space and huma
n behaviour, those w
ho design buildings,
 neighbourhoods, pub
lic spaces and citie
s, ought to draw on
the various discipli
nes which help us to
, symbolic language
and ways of acting.
It is not enough to
seek the beauty of d
esign. More precious
 still is the servic
e we offer to anothe
r kind of beauty: pe
life, their adaptati
on to the environmen
t, encounter and mut
ual assistance. Here
 too, we see how imp
ortant it is that ur
ban planning always
take into considerat
ion the views of tho
se who will live in
ere is also a need t
o protect those comm
on areas, visual lan
dmarks and urban lan
dscapes which increa
se our sense of belo
nging, of rootedness
 which includes us a
nd brings us togethe
r. It is important t
hat the different pa
rts of a city be wel
l integrated and tha
t those who live the
re have a sense of t
he whole, rather tha
n being confined to
one neighbourhood an
d failing to see the
 larger city as spac
e which they share w
ith others. Interven
tions which affect t
he urban or rural la
ndscape should take
into account how var
ious elements combin
e to form a whole wh
ich is perceived by
its inhabitants as a
 coherent and meanin
gful framework for t
heir lives. Others w
ill then no longer b
e seen as strangers,
us are working to cr
eate. For this same
reason, in both urba
n and rural settings
, it is helpful to s
et aside some places
 which can be preser
ved and protected fr
om constant changes
brought by human int
k of housing is a gr
ave 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 t
he demand. Not only
the poor, but many o
ther members of soci
ety as well, find it
 difficult to own a
home. Having a home
has much to do with
a sense of personal
dignity and the grow
th of families. This
 is a major issue fo
r human ecology. In
some places, where m
akeshift shanty town
s have sprung up, th
is will mean develop
ing those neighbourh
oods rather than raz
ing or displacing th
em. When the poor li
ve in unsanitary slu
ms or in dangerous t
s where it is necess
ary to relocate them
, in order not to he
ap suffering upon su
ffering, adequate in
formation needs to b
e given beforehand,
with choices of dece
nt housing offered,
and the people direc
tly involved must be
 part of the process
118" title="" href="
At the same time, cr
eativity should be s
hown in integrating
rundown neighbourhoo
ds into a welcoming
ul those cities whic
h overcome paralyzin
g mistrust, integrat
e those who are diff
erent and make this
very integration a n
ew factor of develop
ment! How attractive
 are those cities wh
ich, even in their a
rchitectural design,
 are full of spaces
which connect, relat
e and favour the rec
9" title="" href="#_
ftn119">[119]</a> </
53. The quality of l
ife in cities has mu
ch to do with system
s of transport, whic
h are often a source
 of much suffering f
or those who use the
m. Many cars, used b
y one or more people
, circulate in citie
s, causing traffic c
ongestion, raising t
he level of pollutio
n, and consuming eno
rmous quantities of
non-renewable energy
. This makes it nece
ssary to build more
roads and parking ar
eas which spoil the
urban landscape. Man
y specialists agree
on the need to give
priority to public t
ransportation. Yet s
ome measures needed
will not prove easil
y acceptable to soci
ety unless substanti
al improvements are
made in the systems
themselves, which in
 many cities force p
eople to put up with
 undignified conditi
ons due to crowding,
 inconvenience, infr
equent service and l
ack of safety. </p>
 Respect for our dig
nity as human beings
 often jars with the
 chaotic realities t
hat people have to e
ndure in city life.
Yet this should not
make us overlook the
 abandonment and neg
lect also experience
d by some rural popu
lations which lack a
ccess to essential s
ervices and where so
me workers are reduc
ed to conditions of
servitude, without r
ights or even the ho
pe of a more dignifi
ecology also implies
 another profound re
ality: the relations
hip between human li
fe and the moral law
, which is inscribed
 in our nature and i
s necessary for the
creation of a more d
ignified environment
. Pope Benedict XVI
man too has a nature
 that he must respec
t and that he cannot
20" title="" href="#
_ftn120">[120]</a> I
t is enough to recog
nize that our body i
tself establishes us
 in a direct relatio
nship with the envir
onment and with othe
r living beings. The
 acceptance of our b
t is vital for welco
ming and accepting t
he entire world as a
 gift from the Fathe
r and our common hom
e, whereas thinking
that we enjoy absolu
te power over our ow
n bodies turns, ofte
n subtly, into think
ing that we enjoy ab
solute power over cr
eation. Learning to
accept our body, to
care for it and to r
espect its fullest m
eaning, is an essent
ial element of any g
enuine human ecology
femininity or mascul
inity is necessary i
f I am going to be a
ble to recognize mys
elf in an encounter
with someone who is
different. In this w
ay we can joyfully a
ccept the specific g
ifts of another man
or woman, the work o
f God the Creator, a
nd find mutual enric
hment. It is not a h
ealthy attitude whic
ancel out sexual dif
ference because it n
o longer knows how t
name="_ftnref121" ti
tle="" href="#_ftn12
 COMMON GOOD</b></p>
. Human ecology is i
nseparable from the
notion of the common
 good, a central and
 unifying principle
of social ethics. Th
the sum of those con
ditions of social li
fe which allow socia
l groups and their i
ndividual members re
latively thorough an
d ready access to th
2" title="" href="#_
ftn122">[122]</a> </
57. Underlying the p
rinciple of the comm
on good is respect f
or the human person
as such, endowed wit
h basic and inaliena
ble rights ordered t
o his or her integra
l development. It ha
s also to do with th
e overall welfare of
 society and the dev
elopment of a variet
y of intermediate gr
oups, applying the p
rinciple of subsidia
rity. Outstanding am
ong those groups is
the family, as the b
asic cell of society
. Finally, the commo
n good calls for soc
ial peace, the stabi
lity and security pr
ovided by a certain
order which cannot b
e achieved without p
articular concern fo
r distributive justi
ce; whenever this is
 violated, violence
always ensues. Socie
ty as a whole, and t
he state in particul
ar, are obliged to d
efend and promote th
e common good. </p>
 In the present cond
ition of global soci
ety, where injustice
s abound and growing
 numbers of people a
re deprived of basic
 human rights and co
nsidered expendable,
 the principle of th
e common good immedi
ately becomes, logic
ally and inevitably,
 a summons to solida
rity and a preferent
ial option for the p
oorest of our brothe
rs and sisters. This
 option entails reco
gnizing the implicat
ions of the universa
l destination of the
t, as I mentioned in
 the Apostolic Exhor
tation <i> <a href="
lii Gaudium</a></i>,
<a name="_ftnref123"
 title="" href="#_ft
n123">[123]</a> it d
emands before all el
se an appreciation o
f the immense dignit
y of the poor in the
 light of our deepes
t convictions as bel
ievers. We need only
 look around us to s
ee that, today, this
 option is in fact a
n ethical imperative
 essential for effec
tively attaining the
 common good. <b> <b
r clear="all" /> </b
he notion of the com
mon good also extend
s to future generati
ons. The global econ
omic crises have mad
e painfully obvious
the detrimental effe
cts of disregarding
our common destiny,
which cannot exclude
 those who come afte
r us. We can no long
er speak of sustaina
ble development apar
t from intergenerati
onal solidarity. Onc
e we start to think
about the kind of wo
rld we are leaving t
o future generations
, we look at things
differently; we real
ize that the world i
s a gift which we ha
ve freely received a
nd must share with o
thers. Since the wor
ld has been given to
 us, we can no longe
r view reality in a
purely utilitarian w
ay, in which efficie
ncy and productivity
 are entirely geared
 to our individual b
enefit. Intergenerat
ional solidarity is
not optional, but ra
ther a basic questio
n of justice, since
the world we have re
ceived also belongs
to those who will fo
llow us. The Portugu
ese bishops have cal
led upon us to ackno
wledge this obligati
e environment is par
t of a logic of rece
ptivity. It is on lo
an to each generatio
n, which must then h
and it on to the nex
f124" title="" href=
 An integral ecology
 is marked by this b
What kind of world d
o we want to leave t
o those who come aft
er us, to children w
ho are now growing u
p? This question not
 only concerns the e
nvironment in isolat
ion; the issue canno
t be approached piec
emeal. When we ask o
urselves what kind o
f world we want to l
eave behind, we thin
k in the first place
 of its general dire
ction, its meaning a
nd its values. Unles
s we struggle with t
hese deeper issues,
I do not believe tha
t our concern for ec
ology will produce s
ignificant results.
But if these issues
are courageously fac
ed, we are led inexo
rably to ask other p
ointed questions: Wh
at is the purpose of
 our life in this wo
rld? Why are we here
? What is the goal o
f our work and all o
ur efforts? What nee
d does the earth hav
e of us? It is no lo
nger enough, then, s
imply to state that
we should be concern
ed for future genera
tions. We need to se
e that what is at st
ake is our own digni
ty. Leaving an inhab
itable planet to fut
ure generations is,
first and foremost,
up to us. The issue
is one which dramati
cally affects us, fo
r it has to do with
the ultimate meaning
 of our earthly sojo
redictions can no lo
nger be met with iro
ny or disdain. We ma
y well be leaving to
 coming generations
debris, desolation a
nd filth. The pace o
f consumption, waste
 and environmental c
hange has so stretch
pacity that our cont
emporary lifestyle,
unsustainable as it
is, can only precipi
tate catastrophes, s
uch as those which e
ven now periodically
 occur in different
areas of the world.
The effects of the p
resent imbalance can
 only be reduced by
our decisive action,
 here and now. We ne
ed to reflect on our
 accountability befo
re those who will ha
ve to endure the dir
e consequences.</p>
 Our difficulty in t
aking up this challe
nge seriously has mu
ch to do with an eth
ical and cultural de
cline which has acco
mpanied the deterior
ation of the environ
ment. Men and women
of our postmodern wo
rld run the risk of
rampant individualis
m, and many problems
 of society are conn
 self-centred cultur
e of instant gratifi
cation. We see this
in the crisis of fam
ily and social ties
and the difficulties
 of recognizing the
other. Parents can b
e prone to impulsive
 and wasteful consum
ption, which then af
fects their children
 who find it increas
ingly difficult to a
cquire a home of the
ir own and build a f
amily. Furthermore,
our inability to thi
nk seriously about f
uture generations is
 linked to our inabi
lity to broaden the
scope of our present
 interests and to gi
ve consideration to
those who remain exc
luded from developme
nt. Let us not only
keep the poor of the
 future in mind, but
, whose life on this
 earth is brief and
who cannot keep on w
 addition to a faire
r sense of intergene
rational solidarity
there is also an urg
ent moral need for a
 renewed sense of in
tragenerational soli
ftnref125" title=""
]</a><br clear="all"
"center">CHAPTER FIV
p align="left"> </p>
have attempted to ta
ke stock of our pres
ent situation, point
ing to the cracks in
 the planet that we
inhabit as well as t
o the profoundly hum
an causes of environ
mental degradation.
Although the contemp
lation of this reali
ty in itself has alr
eady shown the need
for a change of dire
ction and other cour
ses of action, now w
e shall try to outli
ne the major paths o
f dialogue which can
 help us escape the
spiral of self-destr
uction which current
ly engulfs us. </p>
in the middle of the
 last century and ov
ercoming many diffic
ulties, there has be
en a growing convict
ion that our planet
is a homeland and th
at humanity is one p
eople living in a co
mmon home. An interd
ependent world not o
nly makes us more co
nscious of the negat
ive effects of certa
in lifestyles and mo
dels of production a
nd consumption which
 affect us all; more
 importantly, it mot
ivates us to ensure
that solutions are p
roposed from a globa
l perspective, and n
ot simply to defend
the interests of a f
ew countries. Interd
ependence obliges us
 to think of <i>one
world</i> <i>with a
common plan</i>. Yet
 the same ingenuity
which has brought ab
out enormous technol
ogical progress has
so far proved incapa
ble of finding effec
tive ways of dealing
 with grave environm
ental and social pro
blems worldwide. A g
lobal consensus is e
ssential for confron
ting the deeper prob
lems, which cannot b
e resolved by unilat
eral actions on the
part of individual c
ountries. Such a con
sensus could lead, f
or example, to plann
ing a sustainable an
d diversified agricu
lture, developing re
newable and less pol
luting forms of ener
gy, encouraging a mo
re efficient use of
energy, promoting a
better management of
 marine and forest r
esources, and ensuri
ng universal access
to drinking water. <
165. We know that te
chnology based on th
e use of highly poll
but also oil and, to
 a lesser degree, ga
ogressively replaced
 without delay. Unti
l greater progress i
s made in developing
 widely accessible s
ources of renewable
energy, it is legiti
mate to choose the l
esser of two evils o
r to find short-term
 solutions. But the
international commun
ity has still not re
ached adequate agree
ments about the resp
onsibility for payin
g the costs of this
energy transition. I
n recent decades, en
vironmental issues h
ave given rise to co
nsiderable public de
bate and have elicit
ed a variety of comm
itted and generous c
ivic responses. Poli
tics and business ha
ve been slow to reac
t in a way commensur
ate with the urgency
 of the challenges f
acing our world. Alt
hough the post-indus
trial period may wel
l be remembered as o
ne of the most irres
ponsible in history,
 nonetheless there i
s reason to hope tha
t humanity at the da
wn of the twenty-fir
st century will be r
emembered for having
 generously shoulder
ed its grave respons
dwide, the ecologica
l movement has made
significant advances
, thanks also to the
 efforts of many org
anizations of civil
society. It is impos
sible here to mentio
n them all, or to re
view the history of
their contributions.
 But thanks to their
 efforts, environmen
tal questions have i
ncreasingly found a
place on public agen
das and encouraged m
ore far-sighted appr
oaches. This notwith
standing, recent Wor
ld Summits on the en
vironment have not l
ived up to expectati
ons because, due to
lack of political wi
ll, they were unable
 to reach truly mean
ingful and effective
 global agreements o
n the environment.</
67. The 1992 Earth S
ummit in Rio de Jane
iro is worth mention
ing. It proclaimed t
are at the centre of
 concerns for sustai
.<a name="_ftnref126
" title="" href="#_f
tn126">[126]</a> Ech
oing the 1972 Stockh
olm Declaration, it
enshrined internatio
nal cooperation to c
are for the ecosyste
m of the entire eart
h, the obligation of
 those who cause pol
lution to assume its
 costs, and the duty
 to assess the envir
onmental impact of g
iven projects and wo
rks. It set the goal
 of limiting greenho
use gas concentratio
n in the atmosphere,
 in an effort to rev
erse the trend of gl
obal warming. It als
o drew up an agenda
with an action plan
and a convention on
biodiversity, and st
ated principles rega
rding forests. Altho
ugh the summit was a
 real step forward,
and prophetic for it
s time, its accords
have been poorly imp
lemented, due to the
 lack of suitable me
chanisms for oversig
ht, periodic review
and penalties in cas
es of non-compliance
. The principles whi
ch it proclaimed sti
ll await an efficien
t and flexible means
 of practical implem
 positive experience
s in this regard, we
 might mention, for
example, the Basel C
onvention on hazardo
us wastes, with its
system of reporting,
 standards and contr
ols. There is also t
he binding Conventio
n on international t
rade in endangered s
pecies of wild fauna
 and flora, which in
cludes on-site visit
s for verifying effe
ctive compliance. Th
anks to the Vienna C
onvention for the pr
otection of the ozon
e layer and its impl
ementation through t
he Montreal Protocol
 and amendments, the
 problem of the laye
 to have entered a p
hase of resolution.
>169. As far as the
protection of biodiv
ersity and issues re
lated to desertifica
tion are concerned,
progress has been fa
r less significant.
With regard to clima
te change, the advan
ces have been regret
tably few. Reducing
greenhouse gases req
uires honesty, coura
ge and responsibilit
y, above all on the
part of those countr
ies which are more p
owerful and pollute
the most. The Confer
ence of the United N
ations on Sustainabl
iro 2012), issued a
wide-ranging but ine
ffectual outcome doc
ument. International
 negotiations cannot
 make significant pr
ogress due to positi
ons taken by countri
es which place their
 national interests
above the global com
mon good. Those who
will have to suffer
the consequences of
what we are trying t
o hide will not forg
et this failure of c
onscience and respon
sibility. Even as th
is Encyclical was be
ing prepared, the de
bate was intensifyin
g. We believers cann
ot fail to ask God f
or a positive outcom
e to the present dis
cussions, so that fu
ture generations wil
l not have to suffer
 the effects of our
ill-advised delays.
>170. Some strategie
s for lowering pollu
tant gas emissions c
all for the internat
ionalization of envi
ronmental costs, whi
ch would risk imposi
ng on countries with
 fewer resources bur
densome commitments
to reducing emission
s comparable to thos
e of the more indust
rialized countries.
Imposing such measur
es penalizes those c
ountries most in nee
d of development. A
further injustice is
 perpetrated under t
he guise of protecti
ng the environment.
Here also, the poor
end up paying the pr
ice. Furthermore, si
nce the effects of c
limate change will b
e felt for a long ti
me to come, even if
stringent measures a
re taken now, some c
ountries with scarce
 resources will requ
ire assistance in ad
apting to the effect
s already being prod
uced, which affect t
heir economies. In t
his context, there i
s a need for common
and differentiated r
esponsibilities. As
the bishops of Boliv
he countries which h
ave benefited from a
 high degree of indu
strialization, at th
e cost of enormous e
missions of greenhou
se gases, have a gre
ater responsibility
for providing a solu
tion to the problems
.<a name="_ftnref127
" title="" href="#_f
tn127">[127]</a> </p
1. The strategy of b
an lead to a new for
m of speculation whi
ch would not help re
duce the emission of
 polluting gases wor
ldwide. This system
seems to provide a q
uick and easy soluti
on under the guise o
f a certain commitme
nt to the environmen
t, but in no way doe
s it allow for the r
adical change which
present circumstance
s require. Rather, i
t may simply become
a ploy which permits
 maintaining the exc
essive consumption o
f some countries and
poor countries, the
priorities must be t
o eliminate extreme
poverty and to promo
te the social develo
pment of their peopl
e. At the same time,
 they need to acknow
ledge the scandalous
 level of consumptio
n in some privileged
 sectors of their po
pulation and to comb
at corruption more e
ffectively. They are
 likewise bound to d
evelop less pollutin
g forms of energy pr
oduction, but to do
so they require the
help of countries wh
ich have experienced
 great growth at the
 cost of the ongoing
 pollution of the pl
anet. Taking advanta
ge of abundant solar
 energy will require
 the establishment o
f mechanisms and sub
sidies which allow d
eveloping countries
access to technology
 transfer, technical
 assistance and fina
ncial resources, but
 in a way which resp
ects their concrete
f [infrastructures]
with the context for
 which they have bee
n designed is not al
ways adequately asse
nref128" title="" hr
/a> The costs of thi
s would be low, comp
ared to the risks of
 climate change. In
any event, these are
 primarily ethical d
ecisions, rooted in
solidarity between a
orceable internation
al agreements are ur
gently needed, since
 local authorities a
re not always capabl
e of effective inter
vention. Relations b
etween states must b
e respectful of each
ty, but must also la
y down mutually agre
ed means of averting
 regional disasters
which would eventual
ly affect everyone.
Global regulatory no
rms are needed to im
pose obligations and
 prevent unacceptabl
e actions, for examp
le, when powerful co
mpanies dump contami
nated waste or offsh
ore polluting indust
ries in other countr
o mention the system
 of governance of th
e oceans. Internatio
nal and regional con
ventions do exist, b
ut fragmentation and
 the lack of strict
mechanisms of regula
tion, control and pe
nalization end up un
dermining these effo
rts. The growing pro
blem of marine waste
 and the protection
of the open seas rep
resent particular ch
allenges. What is ne
eded, in effect, is
an agreement on syst
ems of governance fo
r the whole range of
e same mindset which
 stands in the way o
f making radical dec
isions to reverse th
e trend of global wa
rming also stands in
 the way of achievin
g the goal of elimin
ating poverty. A mor
e responsible overal
l approach is needed
 to deal with both p
roblems: the reducti
on of pollution and
the development of p
oorer countries and
regions. The twenty-
first century, while
 maintaining systems
 of governance inher
ited from the past,
is witnessing a weak
ening of the power o
f nation states, chi
efly because the eco
nomic and financial
sectors, being trans
national, tends to p
revail over the poli
tical. Given this si
tuation, it is essen
tial to devise stron
ger and more efficie
ntly organized inter
national institution
s, with functionarie
s who are appointed
fairly by agreement
among national gover
nments, and empowere
d to impose sanction
s. As Benedict XVI h
as affirmed in conti
nuity with the socia
l teaching of the Ch
he global economy; t
o revive economies h
it by the crisis; to
 avoid any deteriora
tion of the present
crisis and the great
er imbalances that w
ould result; to brin
g about integral and
 timely disarmament,
 food security and p
eace; to guarantee t
he protection of the
 environment and to
regulate migration:
for all this, there
is urgent need of a
true world political
 authority, as my pr
edecessor Blessed Jo
hn XXIII indicated s
name="_ftnref129" ti
tle="" href="#_ftn12
9">[129]</a> Diploma
cy also takes on new
 importance in the w
ork of developing in
ternational strategi
es which can anticip
ate serious problems
 affecting us all.</
There are not just w
inners and losers am
ong countries, but w
ithin poorer countri
es themselves. Hence
 different responsib
ilities need to be i
dentified. Questions
 related to the envi
ronment and economic
 development can no
longer be approached
 only from the stand
point of differences
 between countries;
they also call for g
reater attention to
policies on the nati
onal and local level
eal potential for a
misuse of human abil
ities, individual st
ates can no longer i
gnore their responsi
bility for planning,
 coordination, overs
ight and enforcement
 within their respec
tive borders. How ca
n a society plan and
 protect its future
amid constantly deve
loping technological
 innovations? One au
thoritative source o
f oversight and coor
dination is the law,
 which lays down rul
es for admissible co
nduct in the light o
f the common good. T
he limits which a he
althy, mature and so
vereign society must
 impose are those re
lated to foresight a
nd security, regulat
ory norms, timely en
forcement, the elimi
nation of corruption
, effective response
s to undesired side-
effects of productio
n processes, and app
ropriate interventio
n where potential or
 uncertain risks are
 involved. There is
a growing jurisprude
nce dealing with the
 reduction of pollut
ion by business acti
vities. But politica
l and institutional
frameworks do not ex
ist simply to avoid
bad practice, but al
so to promote best p
ractice, to stimulat
e creativity in seek
ing new solutions an
d to encourage indiv
idual or group initi
tics concerned with
immediate results, s
upported by consumer
ist sectors of the p
opulation, is driven
 to produce short-te
rm growth. In respon
se to electoral inte
rests, governments a
re reluctant to upse
t the public with me
asures which could a
ffect the level of c
onsumption or create
 risks for foreign i
nvestment. The myopi
a of power politics
delays the inclusion
 of a far-sighted en
vironmental agenda w
ithin the overall ag
enda of governments.
 Thus we forget that
e="_ftnref130" title
="" href="#_ftn130">
[130]</a> that we ar
e always more effect
ive when we generate
 processes rather th
an holding on to pos
itions of power. Tru
e statecraft is mani
fest when, in diffic
ult times, we uphold
 high principles and
 think of the long-t
erm common good. Pol
itical powers do not
 find it easy to ass
ume this duty in the
 work of nation-buil
laces, cooperatives
are being developed
to exploit renewable
 sources of energy w
hich ensure local se
lf-sufficiency and e
ven the sale of surp
lus energy. This sim
ple example shows th
at, while the existi
ng world order prove
s powerless to assum
e its responsibiliti
es, local individual
s and groups can mak
e a real difference.
 They are able to in
stil a greater sense
 of responsibility,
a strong sense of co
mmunity, a readiness
 to protect others,
a spirit of creativi
ty and a deep love f
or the land. They ar
e also concerned abo
ut what they will ev
entually leave to th
eir children and gra
ndchildren. These va
lues are deeply root
ed in indigenous peo
ples. Because the en
forcement of laws is
 at times inadequate
 due to corruption,
public pressure has
to be exerted in ord
er to bring about de
cisive political act
ion. Society, throug
h non-governmental o
rganizations and int
ermediate groups, mu
st put pressure on g
overnments to develo
p more rigorous regu
lations, procedures
and controls. Unless
 citizens control po
tional, regional and
ll not be possible t
o control damage to
the environment. Loc
al legislation can b
e more effective, to
o, if agreements exi
st between neighbour
ing communities to s
upport the same envi
ronmental policies.<
180. There are no un
iform recipes, becau
se each country or r
egion has its own pr
oblems and limitatio
ns. It is also true
that political reali
sm may call for tran
sitional measures an
d technologies, so l
ong as these are acc
ompanied by the grad
ual framing and acce
ptance of binding co
mmitments. At the sa
me time, on the nati
onal and local level
s, much still needs
to be done, such as
promoting ways of co
nserving energy. The
se would include fav
ouring forms of indu
strial production wi
th maximum energy ef
ficiency and diminis
hed use of raw mater
ials, removing from
the market products
which are less energ
y efficient or more
polluting, improving
 transport systems,
and encouraging the
construction and rep
air of buildings aim
ed at reducing their
 energy consumption
and levels of pollut
ion. Political activ
ity on the local lev
el could also be dir
ected to modifying c
onsumption, developi
ng an economy of was
te disposal and recy
cling, protecting ce
rtain species and pl
anning a diversified
 agriculture and the
 rotation of crops.
Agriculture in poore
r regions can be imp
roved through invest
ment in rural infras
tructures, a better
organization of loca
l or national market
s, systems of irriga
tion, and the develo
pment of techniques
of sustainable agric
ulture. New forms of
 cooperation and com
munity organization
can be encouraged in
 order to defend the
 interests of small
producers and preser
ve local ecosystems
from destruction. Tr
uly, much can be don
<p>181. Here, contin
uity is essential, b
ecause policies rela
ted to climate chang
e and environmental
protection cannot be
 altered with every
change of government
. Results take time
and demand immediate
 outlays which may n
ot produce tangible
effects within any o
rm. That is why, in
the absence of press
ure from the public
and from civic insti
tutions, political a
uthorities will alwa
ys be reluctant to i
ntervene, all the mo
re when urgent needs
 must be met. To tak
e up these responsib
ilities and the cost
s they entail, polit
icians will inevitab
ly clash with the mi
ndset of short-term
gain and results whi
ch dominates present
-day economics and p
olitics. But if they
 are courageous, the
y will attest to the
ir God-given dignity
 and leave behind a
testimony of selfles
s responsibility. A
healthy politics is
sorely needed, capab
le of reforming and
coordinating institu
tions, promoting bes
t practices and over
coming undue pressur
e and bureaucratic i
nertia. It should be
 added, though, that
 even the best mecha
nisms can break down
 when there are no w
orthy goals and valu
es, or a genuine and
 profound humanism t
o serve as the basis
 of a noble and gene
assessment of the en
vironmental impact o
f business ventures
and projects demands
 transparent politic
al processes involvi
ng a free exchange o
f views. On the othe
r hand, the forms of
 corruption which co
nceal the actual env
ironmental impact of
 a given project, in
 exchange for favour
s, usually produce s
pecious agreements w
hich fail to inform
adequately and to al
low for full debate.
p>183. Environmental
 impact assessment s
hould not come after
 the drawing up of a
 business propositio
n or the proposal of
 a particular policy
, plan or programme.
 It should be part o
f the process from t
he beginning, and be
 carried out in a wa
y which is interdisc
iplinary, transparen
t and free of all ec
onomic or political
pressure. It should
be linked to a study
 of working conditio
ns and possible effe
ysical and mental he
alth, on the local e
conomy and on public
 safety. Economic re
turns can thus be fo
recast more realisti
cally, taking into a
ccount potential sce
narios and the event
ual need for further
 investment to corre
ct possible undesire
d effects. A consens
us should always be
reached between the
different stakeholde
rs, who can offer a
variety of approache
s, solutions and alt
ernatives. The local
 population should h
ave a special place
at the table; they a
re concerned about t
heir own future and
that of their childr
en, and can consider
 goals transcending
immediate economic i
nterest. We need to
stop thinking in ter
vironment in favour
of policies develope
d and debated by all
 interested parties.
 The participation o
f the latter also en
tails being fully in
formed about such pr
ojects and their dif
ferent risks and pos
sibilities; this inc
ludes not just preli
minary decisions but
 also various follow
-up activities and c
ontinued monitoring.
 Honesty and truth a
re needed in scienti
fic and political di
scussions; these sho
uld not be limited t
o the issue of wheth
er or not a particul
ar project is permit
the face of possible
 risks to the enviro
nment which may affe
ct the common good n
ow and in the future
, decisions must be
omparison of the ris
ks and benefits fore
seen for the various
 possible alternativ
ef131" title="" href
> This is especially
 the case when a pro
ject may lead to a g
reater use of natura
l resources, higher
levels of emission o
r discharge, an incr
ease of refuse, or s
ignificant changes t
o the landscape, the
 habitats of protect
ed species or public
 spaces. Some projec
ts, if insufficientl
y studied, can profo
undly affect the qua
lity of life of an a
rea due to very diff
erent factors such a
s unforeseen noise p
ollution, the shrink
ing of visual horizo
ns, the loss of cult
ural values, or the
effects of nuclear e
nergy use. The cultu
re of consumerism, w
hich prioritizes sho
rt-term gain and pri
vate interest, can m
ake it easy to rubbe
r-stamp authorizatio
ns or to conceal inf
y discussion about a
 proposed venture, a
 number of questions
 need to be asked in
 order to discern wh
ether or not it will
 contribute to genui
ne integral developm
ent. What will it ac
complish? Why? Where
? When? How? For who
m? What are the risk
s? What are the cost
s? Who will pay thos
e costs and how? In
this discernment, so
me questions must ha
ve higher priority.
For example, we know
 that water is a sca
rce and indispensabl
e resource and a fun
damental right which
 conditions the exer
cise of other human
rights. This indispu
table fact overrides
 any other assessmen
t of environmental i
mpact on a region.</
86. The Rio Declarat
ion of 1992 states t
re threats of seriou
s or irreversible da
mage, lack of full s
cientific certainty
shall not be used as
 a pretext for postp
oning cost-effective
"_ftnref132" title="
" href="#_ftn132">[1
32]</a> which preven
t environmental degr
adation. This precau
tionary principle ma
kes it possible to p
rotect those who are
 most vulnerable and
 whose ability to de
fend their interests
 and to assemble inc
ontrovertible eviden
ce is limited. If ob
jective information
suggests that seriou
s and irreversible d
amage may result, a
project should be ha
lted or modified, ev
en in the absence of
 indisputable proof.
 Here the burden of
proof is effectively
 reversed, since in
such cases objective
 and conclusive demo
nstrations will have
 to be brought forwa
rd to demonstrate th
at the proposed acti
vity will not cause
serious harm to the
environment or to th
ose who inhabit it.<
187. This does not m
ean being opposed to
 any technological i
nnovations which can
 bring about an impr
ovement in the quali
ty of life. But it d
oes mean that profit
 cannot be the sole
criterion to be take
n into account, and
that, when significa
nt new information c
omes to light, a rea
ssessment should be
made, with the invol
vement of all intere
sted parties. The ou
tcome may be a decis
ion not to proceed w
ith a given project,
 to modify it or to
consider alternative
re are certain envir
onmental issues wher
e it is not easy to
achieve a broad cons
ensus. Here I would
state once more that
 the Church does not
 presume to settle s
cientific questions
or to replace politi
cs. But I am concern
ed to encourage an h
onest and open debat
e so that particular
 interests or ideolo
gies will not prejud
ice the common good.
must not be subject
to the economy, nor
should the economy b
e subject to the dic
tates of an efficien
cy-driven paradigm o
f technocracy. Today
, in view of the com
mon good, there is u
rgent need for polit
ics and economics to
 enter into a frank
dialogue in the serv
ice of life, especia
lly human life. Savi
ng banks at any cost
, making the public
pay the price, foreg
oing a firm commitme
nt to reviewing and
reforming the entire
 system, only reaffi
rms the absolute pow
er of a financial sy
stem, a power which
has no future and wi
ll only give rise to
 new crises after a
slow, costly and onl
y apparent recovery.
 The financial crisi
s of 2007-08 provide
d an opportunity to
develop a new econom
y, more attentive to
 ethical principles,
 and new ways of reg
ulating speculative
financial practices
and virtual wealth.
But the response to
the crisis did not i
nclude rethinking th
e outdated criteria
which continue to ru
le the world. Produc
tion is not always r
ational, and is usua
lly tied to economic
 variables which ass
ign to products a va
lue that does not ne
cessarily correspond
 to their real worth
. This frequently le
ads to an overproduc
tion of some commodi
ties, with unnecessa
ry impact on the env
ironment and with ne
gative results on re
gional economies.<a
name="_ftnref133" ti
tle="" href="#_ftn13
3">[133]</a> The fin
ancial bubble also t
ends to be a product
ive bubble. The prob
lem of the real econ
omy is not confronte
d with vigour, yet i
t is the real econom
y which makes divers
ification and improv
ement in production
possible, helps comp
anies to function we
ll, and enables smal
l and medium busines
ses to develop and c
reate employment.</p
0. Here too, it shou
ld always be kept in
nmental protection c
annot be assured sol
ely on the basis of
financial calculatio
ns of costs and bene
fits. The environmen
t is one of those go
ods that cannot be a
dequately safeguarde
d or promoted by mar
e="_ftnref134" title
="" href="#_ftn134">
[134]</a> Once more,
 we need to reject a
 magical conception
of the market, which
 would suggest that
problems can be solv
ed simply by an incr
ease in the profits
of companies or indi
viduals. Is it reali
stic to hope that th
ose who are obsessed
 with maximizing pro
fits will stop to re
flect on the environ
mental damage which
they will leave behi
nd for future genera
tions? Where profits
 alone count, there
can be no thinking a
bout the rhythms of
nature, its phases o
f decay and regenera
tion, or the complex
ity of ecosystems wh
ich may be gravely u
pset by human interv
ention. Moreover, bi
odiversity is consid
ered at most a depos
it of economic resou
rces available for e
xploitation, with no
 serious thought for
 the real value of t
hings, their signifi
cance for persons an
d cultures, or the c
oncerns and needs of
ever these questions
 are raised, some re
act by accusing othe
rs of irrationally a
ttempting to stand i
n the way of progres
s and human developm
ent. But we need to
grow in the convicti
on that a decrease i
n the pace of produc
tion and consumption
 can at times give r
ise to another form
of progress and deve
lopment. Efforts to
promote a sustainabl
e use of natural res
ources are not a was
te of money, but rat
her an investment ca
pable of providing o
ther economic benefi
ts in the medium ter
m. If we look at the
 larger picture, we
can see that more di
versified and innova
tive forms of produc
tion which impact le
ss on the environmen
t can prove very pro
fitable. It is a mat
ter of openness to d
ifferent possibiliti
es which do not invo
lve stifling human c
reativity and its id
eals of progress, bu
t rather directing t
hat energy along new
example, a path of p
roductive developmen
t, which is more cre
ative and better dir
ected, could correct
 the present dispari
ty between excessive
 technological inves
tment in consumption
 and insufficient in
vestment in resolvin
g urgent problems fa
cing the human famil
y. It could generate
 intelligent and pro
fitable ways of reus
ing, revamping and r
ecycling, and it cou
ld also improve the
energy efficiency of
 cities. Productive
diversification offe
rs the fullest possi
bilities to human in
genuity to create an
d innovate, while at
 the same time prote
cting the environmen
t and creating more
sources of employmen
t. Such creativity w
ould be a worthy exp
ression of our most
noble human qualitie
s, for we would be s
triving intelligentl
y, boldly and respon
sibly to promote a s
ustainable and equit
able development wit
hin the context of a
 broader concept of
quality of life. On
the other hand, to f
ind ever new ways of
 despoiling nature,
purely for the sake
of new consumer item
s and quick profit,
would be, in human t
erms, less worthy an
d creative, and more
In any event, if in
some cases sustainab
le development were
to involve new forms
 of growth, then in
other cases, given t
he insatiable and ir
responsible growth p
roduced over many de
cades, we need also
to think of containi
ng growth by setting
 some reasonable lim
its and even retraci
ng our steps before
it is too late. We k
now how unsustainabl
e is the behaviour o
f those who constant
ly consume and destr
oy, while others are
 not yet able to liv
e in a way worthy of
 their human dignity
. That is why the ti
me has come to accep
t decreased growth i
n some parts of the
world, in order to p
rovide resources for
 other places to exp
erience healthy grow
th. Benedict XVI has
logically advanced s
ocieties must be pre
pared to encourage m
ore sober lifestyles
, while reducing the
ir energy consumptio
n and improving its
e="_ftnref135" title
="" href="#_ftn135">
new models of progre
ss to arise, there i
e="_ftnref136" title
="" href="#_ftn136">
[136]</a> this will
entail a responsible
e meaning of the eco
nomy and its goals w
ith an eye to correc
ting its malfunction
s and misapplication
f137" title="" href=
 It is not enough to
 balance, in the med
ium term, the protec
tion of nature with
financial gain, or t
he preservation of t
he environment with
progress. Halfway me
asures simply delay
the inevitable disas
ter. Put simply, it
is a matter of redef
ining our notion of
progress. A technolo
gical and economic d
evelopment which doe
s not leave in its w
ake a better world a
nd an integrally hig
her quality of life
cannot be considered
 progress. Frequentl
ion of the environme
nt, the low quality
of food or the deple
onomic growth. In th
is context, talk of
sustainable growth u
sually becomes a way
 of distracting atte
ntion and offering e
xcuses. It absorbs t
he language and valu
es of ecology into t
he categories of fin
ance and technocracy
, and the social and
 environmental respo
nsibility of busines
ses often gets reduc
ed to a series of ma
rketing and image-en
hancing measures. </
95. The principle of
 the maximization of
 profits, frequently
 isolated from other
 considerations, ref
lects a misunderstan
ding of the very con
cept of the economy.
 As long as producti
on is increased, lit
tle concern is given
 to whether it is at
 the cost of future
resources or the hea
lth of the environme
nt; as long as the c
learing of a forest
increases production
, no one calculates
the losses entailed
in the desertificati
on of the land, the
harm done to biodive
rsity or the increas
ed pollution. In a w
ord, businesses prof
it by calculating an
d paying only a frac
tion of the costs in
volved. Yet only whe
d social costs of us
ing up shared enviro
nmental resources ar
e recognized with tr
ansparency and fully
 borne by those who
incur them, not by o
ther peoples or futu
 name="_ftnref138" t
itle="" href="#_ftn1
38">[138]</a> can th
ose actions be consi
dered ethical. An in
strumental way of re
asoning, which provi
des a purely static
analysis of realitie
s in the service of
present needs, is at
 work whether resour
ces are allocated by
 the market or by st
ate central planning
p>196. What happens
with politics? Let u
s keep in mind the p
rinciple of subsidia
rity, which grants f
reedom to develop th
e capabilities prese
nt at every level of
 society, while also
 demanding a greater
 sense of responsibi
lity for the common
good from those who
wield greater power.
 Today, it is the ca
se that some economi
c sectors exercise m
ore power than state
s themselves. But ec
onomics without poli
tics cannot be justi
fied, since this wou
ld make it impossibl
e to favour other wa
ys of handling the v
arious aspects of th
e present crisis. Th
e mindset which leav
es no room for since
re concern for the e
nvironment is the sa
me mindset which lac
ks concern for the i
nclusion of the most
 vulnerable members
he current model, wi
th its emphasis on s
uccess and self-reli
ance, does not appea
r to favour an inves
tment in efforts to
help the slow, the w
eak or the less tale
nted to find opportu
 name="_ftnref139" t
itle="" href="#_ftn1
hat is needed is a p
olitics which is far
-sighted and capable
 of a new, integral
and interdisciplinar
y approach to handli
ng the different asp
ects of the crisis.
Often, politics itse
lf is responsible fo
r the disrepute in w
hich it is held, on
account of corruptio
n and the failure to
 enact sound public
policies. If in a gi
ven region the state
 does not carry out
its responsibilities
, some business grou
ps can come forward
in the guise of bene
factors, wield real
power, and consider
themselves exempt fr
om certain rules, to
 the point of tolera
ting different forms
 of organized crime,
 human trafficking,
the drug trade and v
iolence, all of whic
h become very diffic
ult to eradicate. If
 politics shows itse
lf incapable of brea
king such a perverse
 logic, and remains
caught up in inconse
quential discussions
, we will continue t
o avoid facing the m
ajor problems of hum
anity. A strategy fo
r real change calls
for rethinking proce
sses in their entire
ty, for it is not en
ough to include a fe
w superficial ecolog
ical considerations
while failing to que
stion the logic whic
h underlies present-
day culture. A healt
hy politics needs to
 be able to take up
this challenge.</p>
 Politics and the ec
onomy tend to blame
each other when it c
omes to poverty and
environmental degrad
ation. It is to be h
oped that they can a
cknowledge their own
 mistakes and find f
orms of interaction
directed to the comm
on good. While some
are concerned only w
ith financial gain,
and others with hold
ing on to or increas
ing their power, wha
t we are left with a
re conflicts or spur
ious agreements wher
e the last thing eit
her party is concern
ed about is caring f
or the environment a
nd protecting those
who are most vulnera
ble. Here too, we se
e how true it is tha
a name="_ftnref140"
title="" href="#_ftn
140">[140]</a> </p>
>199. It cannot be m
aintained that empir
ical science provide
s a complete explana
tion of life, the in
terplay of all creat
ures and the whole o
f reality. This woul
d be to breach the l
imits imposed by its
 own methodology. If
 we reason only with
in the confines of t
he latter, little ro
om would be left for
 aesthetic sensibili
ty, poetry, or even
o grasp the ultimate
 meaning and purpose
 of things.<a name="
_ftnref141" title=""
1]</a> I would add t
ssics can prove mean
ingful in every age;
 they have an enduri
ng power to open new
easonable and enligh
tened to dismiss cer
tain writings simply
 because they arose
in the context of re
 name="_ftnref142" t
lign="left"> <a name
="_ftn21" title="" h
]</a> Cf. THOMAS OF
CELANO, <i>The Remem
brance of the Desire
 of a Soul</i>, II,
124, 165, in <i>Fran
cis of Assisi: Early
 Documents</i>, vol.
 2, New York-London-
Manila, 2000, 354.</
itle="" href="#_ftn1
<p align="left"> </p
<p align="center"> <
2. Many things have
to change course, bu
t it is we human bei
ngs above all who ne
ed to change. We lac
k an awareness of ou
r common origin, of
our mutual belonging
, and of a future to
 be shared with ever
yone. This basic awa
reness would enable
the development of n
ew convictions, atti
tudes and forms of l
ife. A great cultura
l, spiritual and edu
cational challenge s
tands before us, and
 it will demand that
 we set out on the l
ong path of renewal.
market tends to prom
ote extreme consumer
ism in an effort to
sell its products, p
eople can easily get
 caught up in a whir
lwind of needless bu
ying and spending. C
ompulsive consumeris
m is one example of
how the techno-econo
mic paradigm affects
 individuals. Romano
 Guardini had alread
The gadgets and tech
nics forced upon him
 by the patterns of
machine production a
nd of abstract plann
ing mass man accepts
 quite simply; they
are the forms of lif
e itself. To either
a greater or lesser
degree mass man is c
onvinced that his co
nformity is both rea
<a name="_ftnref144"
 title="" href="#_ft
n144">[144]</a> This
 paradigm leads peop
le to believe that t
hey are free as long
 as they have the su
pposed freedom to co
nsume. But those rea
lly free are the min
ority who wield econ
omic and financial p
ower. Amid this conf
usion, postmodern hu
manity has not yet a
chieved a new self-a
wareness capable of
offering guidance an
d direction, and thi
s lack of identity i
s a source of anxiet
y. We have too many
means and only a few
 insubstantial ends.
itle="" href="#_ftn1
42">[142]</a> It wou
ld be quite simplist
ic to think that eth
ical principles pres
ent themselves purel
y in the abstract, d
etached from any con
text. Nor does the f
act that they may be
 couched in religiou
s language detract f
rom their value in p
ublic debate. The et
hical principles cap
able of being appreh
ended by reason can
always reappear in d
ifferent guise and f
ind expression in a
variety of languages
, including religiou
 technical solution
which science claims
 to offer will be po
werless to solve the
 serious problems of
 our world if humani
ty loses its compass
, if we lose sight o
f the great motivati
ons which make it po
ssible for us to liv
e in harmony, to mak
e sacrifices and to
treat others well. B
elievers themselves
must constantly feel
 challenged to live
in a way consonant w
ith their faith and
not to contradict it
 by their actions. T
hey need to be encou
raged to be ever ope
nd to draw constantl
y from their deepest
 convictions about l
ove, justice and pea
ce. If a mistaken un
derstanding of our o
wn principles has at
 times led us to jus
tify mistreating nat
ure, to exercise tyr
anny over creation,
to engage in war, in
justice and acts of
violence, we believe
rs should acknowledg
e that by so doing w
e were not faithful
to the treasures of
wisdom which we have
 been called to prot
ect and preserve. Cu
ltural limitations i
n different eras oft
en affected the perc
eption of these ethi
cal and spiritual tr
easures, yet by cons
tantly returning to
their sources, relig
ions will be better
equipped to respond
201. The majority of
 people living on ou
r planet profess to
be believers. This s
hould spur religions
 to dialogue among t
hemselves for the sa
ke of protecting nat
ure, defending the p
oor, and building ne
tworks of respect an
d fraternity. Dialog
ue among the various
 sciences is likewis
e needed, since each
 can tend to become
enclosed in its own
language, while spec
ialization leads to
a certain isolation
and the absolutizati
on of its own field
of knowledge. This p
revents us from conf
ronting environmenta
l problems effective
ly. An open and resp
ectful dialogue is a
lso needed between t
he various ecologica
l movements, among w
hich ideological con
flicts are not infre
quently encountered.
 The gravity of the
ecological crisis de
mands that we all lo
ok to the common goo
d, embarking on a pa
th of dialogue which
 demands patience, s
elf-discipline and g
enerosity, always ke
 name="_ftnref143" t
p>204. The current g
lobal situation enge
nders a feeling of i
nstability and uncer
tainty, which in tur
ed for collective se
="_ftnref145" title=
"" href="#_ftn145">[
145]</a> When people
 become self-centred
 and self-enclosed,
their greed increase
s. The emptier a per
e more he or she nee
ds things to buy, ow
n and consume. It be
comes almost impossi
ble to accept the li
mits imposed by real
ity. In this horizon
, a genuine sense of
 the common good als
o disappears. As the
se attitudes become
more widespread, soc
ial norms are respec
ted only to the exte
nt that they do not
clash with personal
needs. So our concer
n cannot be limited
merely to the threat
 of extreme weather
events, but must als
o extend to the cata
strophic consequence
s of social unrest.
Obsession with a con
sumerist lifestyle,
above all when few p
eople are capable of
 maintaining it, can
 only lead to violen
ce and mutual destru
is not lost. Human b
eings, while capable
 of the worst, are a
lso capable of risin
g above themselves,
choosing again what
is good, and making
a new start, despite
 their mental and so
cial conditioning. W
e are able to take a
n honest look at our
selves, to acknowled
ge our deep dissatis
faction, and to emba
rk on new paths to a
uthentic freedom. No
 system can complete
ly suppress our open
ness to what is good
, true and beautiful
, or our God-given a
bility to respond to
 his grace at work d
eep in our hearts. I
 appeal to everyone
throughout the world
 not to forget this
dignity which is our
s. No one has the ri
ght to take it from
 lifestyle could bri
ng healthy pressure
to bear on those who
 wield political, ec
onomic and social po
wer. This is what co
nsumer movements acc
omplish by boycottin
g certain products.
They prove successfu
l in changing the wa
y businesses operate
, forcing them to co
nsider their environ
mental footprint and
 their patterns of p
roduction. When soci
al pressure affects
their earnings, busi
nesses clearly have
to find ways to prod
uce differently. Thi
s shows us the great
 need for a sense of
 social responsibili
ty on the part of co
ng is always a moral
<a name="_ftnref146"
 title="" href="#_ft
n146">[146]</a> Toda
 issue of environmen
tal degradation chal
lenges us to examine
 name="_ftnref147" t
itle="" href="#_ftn1
he Earth Charter ask
ed us to leave behin
d a period of self-d
estruction and make
a new start, but we
have not as yet deve
loped a universal aw
areness needed to ac
hieve this. Here, I
would echo that cour
history, common dest
iny beckons us to se
 remembered for the
awakening of a new r
everence for life, t
he firm resolve to a
chieve sustainabilit
y, the quickening of
 the struggle for ju
stice and peace, and
 the joyful celebrat
me="_ftnref148" titl
e="" href="#_ftn148"
are always capable o
f going out of ourse
lves towards the oth
er. Unless we do thi
s, other creatures w
ill not be recognize
d for their true wor
th; we are unconcern
ed about caring for
things for the sake
of others; we fail t
o set limits on ours
elves in order to av
oid the suffering of
 others or the deter
ioration of our surr
oundings. Disinteres
ted concern for othe
rs, and the rejectio
n of every form of s
elf-centeredness and
 self-absorption, ar
e essential if we tr
uly wish to care for
 our brothers and si
sters and for the na
tural environment. T
hese attitudes also
attune us to the mor
al imperative of ass
essing the impact of
 our every action an
d personal decision
on the world around
us. If we can overco
me individualism, we
 will truly be able
to develop a differe
nt lifestyle and bri
ng about significant
 changes in society.
ss of the gravity of
and ecological crisi
s must be translated
 into new habits. Ma
ny people know that
our current progress
 and the mere amassi
ng of things and ple
asures are not enoug
h to give meaning an
d joy to the human h
eart, yet they feel
unable to give up wh
at the market sets b
efore them. In those
 countries which sho
uld be making the gr
eatest changes in co
nsumer habits, young
 people have a new e
cological sensitivit
y and a generous spi
rit, and some of the
m are making admirab
le efforts to protec
t the environment. A
t the same time, the
y have grown up in a
 milieu of extreme c
onsumerism and afflu
ence which makes it
difficult to develop
 other habits. We ar
e faced with an educ
ational challenge.</
10. Environmental ed
ucation has broadene
d its goals. Whereas
 in the beginning it
 was mainly centred
on scientific inform
ation, consciousness
-raising and the pre
vention of environme
ntal risks, it tends
 now to include a cr
 grounded in a utili
tarian mindset (indi
vidualism, unlimited
 progress, competiti
on, consumerism, the
 unregulated market)
. It seeks also to r
estore the various l
evels of ecological
equilibrium, establi
shing harmony within
 ourselves, with oth
ers, with nature and
 other living creatu
res, and with God. E
nvironmental educati
on should facilitate
 making the leap tow
ards the transcenden
t which gives ecolog
ical ethics its deep
est meaning. It need
s educators capable
of developing an eth
ics of ecology, and
helping people, thro
ugh effective pedago
gy, to grow in solid
arity, responsibilit
y and compassionate
education, aimed at
, is at times limite
d to providing infor
mation, and fails to
 instil good habits.
 The existence of la
ws and regulations i
s insufficient in th
e long run to curb b
ad conduct, even whe
n effective means of
 enforcement are pre
sent. If the laws ar
e to bring about sig
nificant, long-lasti
ng effects, the majo
rity of the members
of society must be a
dequately motivated
to accept them, and
personally transform
ed to respond. Only
by cultivating sound
 virtues will people
 be able to make a s
elfless ecological c
ommitment. A person
who could afford to
spend and consume mo
re but regularly use
s less heating and w
ears warmer clothes,
 shows the kind of c
onvictions and attit
udes which help to p
rotect the environme
nt. There is a nobil
ity in the duty to c
are for creation thr
ough little daily ac
tions, and it is won
derful how education
 can bring about rea
l changes in lifesty
le. Education in env
ironmental responsib
ility can encourage
ways of acting which
 directly and signif
icantly affect the w
orld around us, such
 as avoiding the use
 of plastic and pape
r, reducing water co
nsumption, separatin
g refuse, cooking on
ly what can reasonab
ly be consumed, show
ing care for other l
iving beings, using
public transport or
car-pooling, plantin
g trees, turning off
 unnecessary lights,
 or any number of ot
her practices. All o
f these reflect a ge
nerous and worthy cr
eativity which bring
s out the best in hu
man beings. Reusing
something instead of
 immediately discard
ing it, when done fo
r the right reasons,
 can be an act of lo
ve which expresses o
ur own dignity.</p>
 We must not think t
hat these efforts ar
e not going to chang
e the world. They be
nefit society, often
 unbeknown to us, fo
r they call forth a
goodness which, albe
it unseen, inevitabl
y tends to spread. F
urthermore, such act
ions can restore our
 sense of self-estee
m; they can enable u
s to live more fully
 and to feel that li
fe on earth is worth
cal education can ta
ke place in a variet
y of settings: at sc
hool, in families, i
n the media, in cate
chesis and elsewhere
. Good education pla
nts seeds when we ar
e young, and these c
ontinue to bear frui
t throughout life. H
ere, though, I would
 stress the great im
portance of the fami
place in which life
welcomed and protect
ed against the many
attacks to which it
is exposed, and can
develop in accordanc
e with what constitu
tes authentic human
growth. In the face
of the so-called cul
ture of death, the f
amily is the heart o
f the culture of lif
f149" title="" href=
 In the family we fi
rst learn how to sho
w love and respect f
or life; we are taug
ht the proper use of
 things, order and c
leanliness, respect
for the local ecosys
tem and care for all
 creatures. In the f
amily we receive an
integral education,
which enables us to
grow harmoniously in
 personal maturity.
In the family we lea
rn to ask without de
pression of genuine
gratitude for what w
e have been given, t
o control our aggres
sivity and greed, an
d to ask forgiveness
 when we have caused
 harm. These simple
gestures of heartfel
t courtesy help to c
reate a culture of s
hared life and respe
ct for our surroundi
institutions and var
ious other social gr
oups are also entrus
ted with helping to
reness. So too is th
e Church. All Christ
ian communities have
 an important role t
o play in ecological
 education. It is my
 hope that our semin
aries and houses of
formation will provi
de an education in r
esponsible simplicit
y of life, in gratef
ul contemplation of
n concern for the ne
eds of the poor and
the protection of th
e environment. Becau
se the stakes are so
 high, we need insti
tutions empowered to
 impose penalties fo
r damage inflicted o
n the environment. B
ut we also need the
personal qualities o
f self-control and w
illingness to learn
from one another.</p
etween a good aesthe
tic education and th
e maintenance of a h
ealthy environment c
50" title="" href="#
_ftn150">[150]</a> B
y learning to see an
d appreciate beauty,
 we learn to reject
self-interested prag
matism. If someone h
as not learned to st
op and admire someth
ing beautiful, we sh
ould not be surprise
d if he or she treat
s everything as an o
bject to be used and
 abused without scru
ple. If we want to b
ring about deep chan
ge, we need to reali
ze that certain mind
sets really do influ
ence our behaviour.
Our efforts at educa
tion will be inadequ
ate and ineffectual
unless we strive to
promote a new way of
 thinking about huma
n beings, life, soci
ety and our relation
ship with nature. Ot
herwise, the paradig
m of consumerism wil
l continue to advanc
e, with the help of
the media and the hi
ghly effective worki
ngs of the market.</
p>216. The rich heri
tage of Christian sp
irituality, the frui
t of twenty centurie
s of personal and co
mmunal experience, h
as a precious contri
bution to make to th
e renewal of humanit
y. Here, I would lik
e to offer Christian
s a few suggestions
for an ecological sp
irituality grounded
in the convictions o
f our faith, since t
he teachings of the
Gospel have direct c
onsequences for our
way of thinking, fee
ling and living. Mor
e than in ideas or c
oncepts as such, I a
m interested in how
such a spirituality
can motivate us to a
 more passionate con
cern for the protect
ion of our world. A
commitment this loft
y cannot be sustaine
d by doctrine alone,
 without a spiritual
ity capable of inspi
ring us, without an
which encourages, mo
tivates, nourishes a
nd gives meaning to
our individual and c
<a name="_ftnref151"
 title="" href="#_ft
n151">[151]</a> Admi
ttedly, Christians h
ave not always appro
priated and develope
d the spiritual trea
sures bestowed by Go
d upon the Church, w
here the life of the
 spirit is not disso
ciated from the body
 or from nature or f
rom worldly realitie
s, but lived in and
with them, in commun
ion with all that su
The external deserts
 in the world are gr
owing, because the i
nternal deserts have
a name="_ftnref152"
title="" href="#_ftn
152">[152]</a> For t
his reason, the ecol
ogical crisis is als
o a summons to profo
und interior convers
ion. It must be said
 that some committed
 and prayerful Chris
tians, with the excu
se of realism and pr
agmatism, tend to ri
dicule expressions o
f concern for the en
vironment. Others ar
e passive; they choo
se not to change the
ir habits and thus b
ecome inconsistent.
So what they all nee
reby the effects of
their encounter with
 Jesus Christ become
 evident in their re
lationship with the
world around them. L
iving our vocation t
o be protectors of G
essential to a life
of virtue; it is not
 an optional or a se
condary aspect of ou
r Christian experien
to mind the figure o
f Saint Francis of A
ssisi, we come to re
alize that a healthy
 relationship with c
reation is one dimen
sion of overall pers
onal conversion, whi
ch entails the recog
nition of our errors
, sins, faults and f
ailures, and leads t
o heartfelt repentan
ce and desire to cha
nge. The Australian
bishops spoke of the
 importance of such
conversion for achie
ving reconciliation
 achieve such reconc
iliation, we must ex
amine our lives and
acknowledge the ways
 in which we have ha
n through our action
s and our failure to
 act. We need to exp
erience a conversion
, or change of heart
153" title="" href="
219. Nevertheless, s
elf-improvement on t
he part of individua
ls will not by itsel
f remedy the extreme
ly complex situation
 facing our world to
day. Isolated indivi
duals can lose their
 ability and freedom
 to escape the utili
tarian mindset, and
end up prey to an un
ethical consumerism
bereft of social or
ecological awareness
. Social problems mu
st be addressed by c
ommunity networks an
d not simply by the
sum of individual go
od deeds. This task
emendous demands of
man that he could ne
ver achieve it by in
dividual initiative
or even by the unite
d effort of men bred
 in an individualist
ic way. The work of
dominating the world
 calls for a union o
f skills and a unity
 of achievement that
 can only grow from
quite a different at
ftnref154" title=""
]</a> The ecological
 conversion needed t
o bring about lastin
g change is also a c
ommunity conversion.
>220. This conversio
n calls for a number
 of attitudes which
together foster a sp
irit of generous car
e, full of tendernes
s. First, it entails
 gratitude and gratu
itousness, a recogni
tion that the world
ft, and that we are
called quietly to im
itate his generosity
 in self-sacrifice a
 not let your left h
and know what your r
o sees in secret wil
Mt</i> 6:3-4). It al
so entails a loving
awareness that we ar
e not disconnected f
rom the rest of crea
tures, but joined in
 a splendid universa
l communion. As beli
evers, we do not loo
k at the world from
without but from wit
hin, conscious of th
e bonds with which t
he Father has linked
 us to all beings. B
y developing our ind
ividual, God-given c
apacities, an ecolog
ical conversion can
inspire us to greate
r creativity and ent
husiasm in resolving
ems and in offering
as a living sacrific
e, holy and acceptab
:1). We do not under
stand our superiorit
y as a reason for pe
rsonal glory or irre
sponsible dominion,
but rather as a diff
erent capacity which
, in its turn, entai
ls a serious respons
ibility stemming fro
rious convictions of
 our faith, develope
d at the beginning o
f this Encyclical ca
n help us to enrich
the meaning of this
conversion. These in
clude the awareness
that each creature r
eflects something of
 God and has a messa
ge to convey to us,
and the security tha
t Christ has taken u
nto himself this mat
erial world and now,
 risen, is intimatel
y present to each be
ing, surrounding it
with his affection a
nd penetrating it wi
th his light. Then t
oo, there is the rec
ognition that God cr
eated the world, wri
ting into it an orde
r and a dynamism tha
t human beings have
no right to ignore.
We read in the Gospe
l that Jesus says of
 the birds of the ai
 them is forgotten b
/i> 12:6). How then
can we possibly mist
reat them or cause t
hem harm? I ask all
Christians to recogn
ize and to live full
y this dimension of
their conversion. Ma
y the power and the
light of the grace w
e have received also
 be evident in our r
elationship to other
 creatures and to th
e world around us. I
n this way, we will
help nurture that su
blime fraternity wit
h all creation which
 Saint Francis of As
sisi so radiantly em
bodied.<br clear="al
>222. Christian spir
ituality proposes an
 alternative underst
anding of the qualit
y of life, and encou
rages a prophetic an
d contemplative life
style, one capable o
f deep enjoyment fre
e of the obsession w
ith consumption. We
need to take up an a
ncient lesson, found
 in different religi
ous traditions and a
lso in the Bible. It
 is the conviction t
 of new consumer goo
ds can baffle the he
art and prevent us f
rom cherishing each
thing and each momen
t. To be serenely pr
esent to each realit
y, however small it
may be, opens us to
much greater horizon
s of understanding a
nd personal fulfilme
nt. Christian spirit
uality proposes a gr
owth marked by moder
ation and the capaci
ty to be happy with
little. It is a retu
rn to that simplicit
y which allows us to
 stop and appreciate
 the small things, t
o be grateful for th
e opportunities whic
h life affords us, t
o be spiritually det
ached from what we p
ossess, and not to s
uccumb to sadness fo
r what we lack. This
 implies avoiding th
e dynamic of dominio
n and the mere accum
ulation of pleasures
p>223. Such sobriety
, when lived freely
and consciously, is
liberating. It is no
t a lesser life or o
ne lived with less i
ntensity. On the con
trary, it is a way o
f living life to the
 full. In reality, t
hose who enjoy more
and live better each
 moment are those wh
o have given up dipp
ing here and there,
always on the look-o
ut for what they do
not have. They exper
ience what it means
to appreciate each p
erson and each thing
, learning familiari
ty with the simplest
 things and how to e
njoy them. So they a
re able to shed unsa
tisfied needs, reduc
ing their obsessiven
ess and weariness. E
ven living on little
, they can live a lo
t, above all when th
ey cultivate other p
leasures and find sa
tisfaction in frater
nal encounters, in s
ervice, in developin
g their gifts, in mu
sic and art, in cont
act with nature, in
prayer. Happiness me
ans knowing how to l
imit some needs whic
h only diminish us,
and being open to th
e many different pos
sibilities which lif
briety and humility
were not favourably
regarded in the last
 century. And yet, w
hen there is a gener
al breakdown in the
exercise of a certai
n virtue in personal
 and social life, it
 ends up causing a n
umber of imbalances,
 including environme
ntal ones. That is w
hy it is no longer e
nough to speak only
of the integrity of
ecosystems. We have
to dare to speak of
the integrity of hum
an life, of the need
 to promote and unif
y all the great valu
es. Once we lose our
 humility, and becom
e enthralled with th
e possibility of lim
itless mastery over
everything, we inevi
tably end up harming
 society and the env
ironment. It is not
easy to promote this
 kind of healthy hum
ility or happy sobri
ety when we consider
 ourselves autonomou
s, when we exclude G
od from our lives or
 replace him with ou
r own ego, and think
 that our subjective
 feelings can define
 what is right and w
n the other hand, no
 one can cultivate a
 sober and satisfyin
g life without being
 at peace with him o
r herself. An adequa
te understanding of
spirituality consist
s in filling out wha
t we mean by peace,
which is much more t
han the absence of w
ar. Inner peace is c
losely related to ca
re for ecology and f
or the common good b
ecause, lived out au
thentically, it is r
eflected in a balanc
ed lifestyle togethe
r with a capacity fo
r wonder which takes
 us to a deeper unde
rstanding of life. N
ature is filled with
 words of love, but
how can we listen to
 them amid constant
noise, interminable
and nerve-wracking d
istractions, or the
cult of appearances?
 Many people today s
ense a profound imba
lance which drives t
hem to frenetic acti
vity and makes them
feel busy, in a cons
tant hurry which in
turn leads them to r
ide rough-shod over
everything around th
em. This too affects
 how they treat the
environment. An inte
gral ecology include
s taking time to rec
over a serene harmon
y with creation, ref
lecting on our lifes
tyle and our ideals,
 and contemplating t
he Creator who lives
 among us and surrou
nds us, whose presen
ntrived but found, u
"_ftnref155" title="
" href="#_ftn155">[1
speaking of an attit
ude of the heart, on
e which approaches l
ife with serene atte
ntiveness, which is
capable of being ful
ly present to someon
e without thinking o
f what comes next, w
hich accepts each mo
ment as a gift from
God to be lived to t
he full. Jesus taugh
t us this attitude w
hen he invited us to
 contemplate the lil
ies of the field and
 the birds of the ai
r, or when seeing th
e rich young man and
 knowing his restles
(<i>Mk</i> 10:21). H
e was completely pre
sent to everyone and
 to everything, and
in this way he showe
d us the way to over
come that unhealthy
anxiety which makes
us superficial, aggr
essive and compulsiv
ne expression of thi
s attitude is when w
e stop and give than
ks to God before and
 after meals. I ask
all believers to ret
urn to this beautifu
l and meaningful cus
tom. That moment of
blessing, however br
ief, reminds us of o
ur dependence on God
 for life; it streng
thens our feeling of
 gratitude for the g
ifts of creation; it
 acknowledges those
who by their labours
 provide us with the
se goods; and it rea
ffirms our solidarit
y with those in grea
test need.<br clear=
are for nature is pa
rt of a lifestyle wh
ich includes the cap
acity for living tog
ether and communion.
 Jesus reminded us t
hat we have God as o
ur common Father and
 that this makes us
brothers and sisters
. Fraternal love can
 only be gratuitous;
 it can never be a m
eans of repaying oth
ers for what they ha
ve done or will do f
or us. That is why i
t is possible to lov
e our enemies. This
same gratuitousness
inspires us to love
and accept the wind,
 the sun and the clo
uds, even though we
cannot control them.
 In this sense, we c
p>229. We must regai
n the conviction tha
t we need one anothe
r, that we have a sh
ared responsibility
for others and the w
orld, and that being
 good and decent are
 worth it. We have h
ad enough of immoral
ity and the mockery
of ethics, goodness,
 faith and honesty.
It is time to acknow
ledge that light-hea
rted superficiality
has done us no good.
 When the foundation
s of social life are
 corroded, what ensu
es are battles over
conflicting interest
s, new forms of viol
ence and brutality,
and obstacles to the
 growth of a genuine
 culture of care for
 the environment. </
30. Saint Therese of
 Lisieux invites us
to practise the litt
le way of love, not
to miss out on a kin
d word, a smile or a
ny small gesture whi
ch sows peace and fr
iendship. An integra
l ecology is also ma
de up of simple dail
y gestures which bre
ak with the logic of
 violence, exploitat
ion and selfishness.
 In the end, a world
 of exacerbated cons
umption is at the sa
me time a world whic
h mistreats life in
all its forms. </p>
 Love, overflowing w
ith small gestures o
f mutual care, is al
so civic and politic
al, and it makes its
elf felt in every ac
tion that seeks to b
uild a better world.
 Love for society an
d commitment to the
common good are outs
tanding expressions
of a charity which a
ffects not only rela
tionships between in
s, social, economic
6" title="" href="#_
ftn156">[156]</a> Th
at is why the Church
 set before the worl
civilization of love
157" title="" href="
Social love is the k
ey to authentic deve
 to make society mor
e human, more worthy
 of the human person
, love in social lif
ewed value, becoming
 the constant and hi
ghest norm for all a
_ftnref158" title=""
8]</a> In this frame
work, along with the
 importance of littl
e everyday gestures,
 social love moves u
s to devise larger s
trategies to halt en
vironmental degradat
ion and to encourage
 all of society. Whe
n we feel that God i
s calling us to inte
rvene with others in
 these social dynami
cs, we should realiz
e that this too is p
art of our spiritual
ity, which is an exe
rcise of charity and
, as such, matures a
nd sanctifies us.</p
2. Not everyone is c
alled to engage dire
ctly in political li
fe. Society is also
enriched by a countl
ess array of organiz
ations which work to
 promote the common
good and to defend t
he environment, whet
her natural or urban
. Some, for example,
 show concern for a
public place (a buil
ding, a fountain, an
 abandoned monument,
 a landscape, a squa
re), and strive to p
rotect, restore, imp
rove or beautify it
as something belongi
ng to everyone. Arou
nd these community a
ctions, relationship
s develop or are rec
overed and a new soc
ial fabric emerges.
Thus, a community ca
n break out of the i
ndifference induced
by consumerism. Thes
e actions cultivate
a shared identity, w
ith a story which ca
n be remembered and
handed on. In this w
ay, the world, and t
he quality of life o
f the poorest, are c
ared for, with a sen
se of solidarity whi
ch is at the same ti
me aware that we liv
e in a common home w
hich God has entrust
ed to us. These comm
unity actions, when
they express self-gi
ving love, can also
become intense spiri
tual experiences. </
ION OF REST</b></p>
se unfolds in God, w
ho fills it complete
ly. Hence, there is
a mystical meaning t
o be found in a leaf
, in a mountain trai
l, in a dewdrop, in
ce.<a name="_ftnref1
59" title="" href="#
_ftn159">[159]</a> T
he ideal is not only
 to pass from the ex
terior to the interi
or to discover the a
ction of God in the
soul, but also to di
scover God in all th
ings. Saint Bonavent
ure teaches us that
pens the more we fee
l the working of God
r hearts, and the be
tter we learn to enc
ounter God in creatu
res outside ourselve
f160" title="" href=
>234. Saint John of
the Cross taught tha
t all the goodness p
resent in the realit
ies and experiences
present in God emine
ntly and infinitely,
 or more properly, i
n each of these subl
ime realities is God
Mined by AntPool usa1
161" title="" href="
This is not because
the finite things of
 this world are real
ly divine, but becau
se the mystic experi
ences the intimate c
onnection between Go
d and all beings, an
62" title="" href="#
_ftn162">[162]</a> S
tanding awestruck be
fore a mountain, he
or she cannot separa
te this experience f
rom God, and perceiv
es that the interior
 awe being lived has
 to be entrusted to
ns have heights and
they are plentiful,
vast, beautiful, gra
ceful, bright and fr
agrant. These mounta
ins are what my Belo
ved is to me. Lonely
 valleys are quiet,
pleasant, cool, shad
y and flowing with f
resh water; in the v
ariety of their grov
es and in the sweet
song of the birds, t
hey afford abundant
recreation and delig
ht to the senses, an
d in their solitude
and silence, they re
fresh us and give re
st. These valleys ar
e what my Beloved is
ftnref163" title=""
ments are a privileg
ed way in which natu
re is taken up by Go
d to become a means
of mediating superna
tural life. Through
our worship of God,
we are invited to em
brace the world on a
 different plane. Wa
ter, oil, fire and c
olours are taken up
in all their symboli
c power and incorpor
ated in our act of p
raise. The hand that
 blesses is an instr
e and a reflection o
f the closeness of J
esus Christ, who cam
e to accompany us on
 the journey of life
. Water poured over
the body of a child
in Baptism is a sign
 of new life. Encoun
tering God does not
mean fleeing from th
is world or turning
our back on nature.
This is especially c
lear in the spiritua
lity of the Christia
hich in the East is
one of the best love
d names expressing t
he divine harmony an
d the model of human
ity transfigured, ap
pears everywhere: in
 the shape of a chur
ch, in the sounds, i
n the colours, in th
e lights, in the sce
ref164" title="" hre
a> For Christians, a
ll the creatures of
the material univers
e find their true me
aning in the incarna
te Word, for the Son
 of God has incorpor
ated in his person p
art of the material
world, planting in i
t a seed of definiti
not reject matter. R
ather, bodiliness is
 considered in all i
ts value in the litu
rgical act, whereby
the human body is di
sclosed in its inner
 nature as a temple
of the Holy Spirit a
nd is united with th
e Lord Jesus, who hi
mself took a body fo
tnref165" title="" h
he Eucharist that al
l that has been crea
ted finds its greate
st exaltation. Grace
, which tends to man
ifest itself tangibl
y, found unsurpassab
le expression when G
od himself became ma
n and gave himself a
s food for his creat
ures. The Lord, in t
he culmination of th
e mystery of the Inc
arnation, chose to r
each our intimate de
pths through a fragm
ent of matter. He co
mes not from above,
but from within, he
comes that we might
find him in this wor
ld of ours. In the E
ucharist, fullness i
s already achieved;
it is the living cen
tre of the universe,
 the overflowing cor
e of love and of ine
xhaustible life. Joi
ned to the incarnate
 Son, present in the
 Eucharist, the whol
e cosmos gives thank
s to God. Indeed the
 Eucharist is itself
 an act of cosmic lo
Because even when it
 is celebrated on th
e humble altar of a
country church, the
Eucharist is always
in some way celebrat
ed on the altar of t
"_ftnref166" title="
" href="#_ftn166">[1
66]</a> The Eucharis
t joins heaven and e
arth; it embraces an
d penetrates all cre
ation. The world whi
ch came forth from G
 to him in blessed a
nd undivided adorati
on: in the bread of
eation is projected
towards divinization
, towards the holy w
edding feast, toward
s unification with t
7" title="" href="#_
ftn167">[167]</a> Th
us, the Eucharist is
 also a source of li
ght and motivation f
or our concerns for
the environment, dir
ecting us to be stew
ards of all creation
p>237. On Sunday, ou
r participation in t
he Eucharist has spe
cial importance. Sun
day, like the Jewish
 Sabbath, is meant t
o be a day which hea
ls our relationships
 with God, with ours
elves, with others a
nd with the world. S
unday is the day of
the Resurrection, th
 the new creation, w
hose first fruits ar
 humanity, the pledg
e of the final trans
figuration of all cr
eated reality. It al
ref168" title="" hre
a> In this way, Chri
stian spirituality i
ncorporates the valu
e of relaxation and
festivity. We tend t
o demean contemplati
ve rest as something
 unproductive and un
necessary, but this
is to do away with t
he very thing which
is most important ab
out work: its meanin
g. We are called to
include in our work
a dimension of recep
tivity and gratuity,
 which is quite diff
erent from mere inac
tivity. Rather, it i
s another way of wor
king, which forms pa
rt of our very essen
ce. It protects huma
n action from becomi
ng empty activism; i
t also prevents that
 unfettered greed an
d sense of isolation
 which make us seek
personal gain to the
 detriment of all el
se. The law of weekl
y rest forbade work
on the seventh day,
nd your donkey may h
ave rest, and the so
n of your maidservan
t, and the stranger,
 (<i>Ex </i>23:12).
Rest opens our eyes
to the larger pictur
e and gives us renew
ed sensitivity to th
e rights of others.
And so the day of re
st, centred on the E
ucharist, sheds it l
ight on the whole we
ek, and motivates us
 to greater concern
for nature and the p
. The Father is the
ultimate source of e
verything, the lovin
g and self-communica
ting foundation of a
ll that exists. The
Son, his reflection,
 through whom all th
ings were created, u
nited himself to thi
s earth when he was
formed in the womb o
f Mary. The Spirit,
infinite bond of lov
e, is intimately pre
sent at the very hea
rt of the universe,
inspiring and bringi
ng new pathways. The
 world was created b
y the three Persons
acting as a single d
ivine principle, but
 each one of them pe
rformed this common
work in accordance w
ith his own personal
 property. Consequen
emplate with wonder
the universe in all
its grandeur and bea
uty, we must praise
.<a name="_ftnref169
" title="" href="#_f
tn169">[169]</a> </p
9. For Christians, b
elieving in one God
who is trinitarian c
ommunion suggests th
at the Trinity has l
eft its mark on all
creation. Saint Bona
venture went so far
as to say that human
 beings, before sin,
 were able to see ho
estifies that God is
ction of the Trinity
 was there to be rec
open to man and our
eyes had not yet bec
ame="_ftnref170" tit
le="" href="#_ftn170
">[170]</a> The Fran
ciscan saint teaches
 us that <i>each cre
ature bears in itsel
f a specifically Tri
nitarian structure</
i>, so real that it
could be readily con
templated if only th
e human gaze were no
t so partial, dark a
nd fragile. In this
way, he points out t
o us the challenge o
f trying to read rea
lity in a Trinitaria
ine Persons are subs
istent relations, an
d the world, created
 according to the di
vine model, is a web
 of relationships. C
reatures tend toward
s God, and in turn i
t is proper to every
 living being to ten
d towards other thin
gs, so that througho
ut the universe we c
an find any number o
f constant and secre
tly interwoven relat
ionships.<a name="_f
tnref171" title="" h
</a> This leads us n
ot only to marvel at
 the manifold connec
tions existing among
 creatures, but also
 to discover a key t
o our own fulfilment
. The human person g
rows more, matures m
ore and is sanctifie
d more to the extent
 that he or she ente
rs into relationship
s, going out from th
emselves to live in
communion with God,
with others and with
 all creatures. In t
his way, they make t
heir own that trinit
arian dynamism which
 God imprinted in th
em when they were cr
eated. Everything is
 interconnected, and
 this invites us to
develop a spirituali
ty of that global so
lidarity which flows
 from the mystery of
1. Mary, the Mother
who cared for Jesus,
 now cares with mate
rnal affection and p
ain for this wounded
 world. Just as her
pierced heart mourne
d the death of Jesus
, so now she grieves
 for the sufferings
of the crucified poo
r and for the creatu
res of this world la
id waste by human po
wer. Completely tran
sfigured, she now li
ves with Jesus, and
all creatures sing o
f her fairness. She
thed in the sun, wit
h the moon under her
 feet, and on her he
ad a crown of twelve
> 12:1). Carried up
into heaven, she is
the Mother and Queen
 of all creation. In
 her glorified body,
 together with the R
isen Christ, part of
 creation has reache
d the fullness of it
s beauty. She treasu
res the entire life
of Jesus in her hear
t (cf. <i>Lk </i>2:1
9,51), and now under
stands the meaning o
f all things. Hence,
 we can ask her to e
nable us to look at
this world with eyes
her side in the Holy
 Family of Nazareth,
 stands the figure o
f Saint Joseph. Thro
ugh his work and gen
erous presence, he c
ared for and defende
d Mary and Jesus, de
livering them from t
he violence of the u
njust by bringing th
em to Egypt. The Gos
pel presents Joseph
as a just man, hard-
working and strong.
But he also shows gr
eat tenderness, whic
h is not a mark of t
he weak but of those
 who are genuinely s
trong, fully aware o
f reality and ready
to love and serve in
 humility. That is w
hy he was proclaimed
 custodian of the un
iversal Church. He t
oo can teach us how
to show care; he can
 inspire us to work
with generosity and
tenderness in protec
ting this world whic
h God has entrusted
 the end, we will fi
nd ourselves face to
 face with the infin
ite beauty of God (c
f. <i>1 Cor</i> 13:1
2), and be able to r
ead with admiration
and happiness the my
stery of the univers
e, which with us wil
l share in unending
plenitude. Even now
we are journeying to
wards the sabbath of
 eternity, the new J
erusalem, towards ou
r common home in hea
I make all things ne
5). Eternal life wil
l be a shared experi
ence of awe, in whic
h each creature, res
plendently transfigu
red, will take its r
ightful place and ha
ve something to give
 those poor men and
women who will have
been liberated once
 the meantime, we co
me together to take
charge of this home
which has been entru
sted to us, knowing
that all the good wh
ich exists here will
 be taken up into th
e heavenly feast. In
 union with all crea
tures, we journey th
rough this land seek
he world has a begin
ning and if it has b
een created, we must
 enquire who gave it
 this beginning, and
 who was its Creator
172" title="" href="
Let us sing as we go
. May our struggles
and our concern for
this planet never ta
ke away the joy of o
ho calls us to gener
ous commitment and t
o give him our all,
offers us the light
and the strength nee
ded to continue on o
ur way. In the heart
 of this world, the
Lord of life, who lo
ves us so much, is a
lways present. He do
es not abandon us, h
e does not leave us
alone, for he has un
ited himself definit
ively to our earth,
and his love constan
tly impels us to fin
d new ways forward.
<i>Praise be to him<
ign="center">* * * *
 At the conclusion o
f this lengthy refle
ction which has been
 both joyful and tro
ubling, I propose th
at we offer two pray
ers. The first we ca
n share with all who
 believe in a God wh
o is the all-powerfu
l Creator, while in
the other we Christi
ans ask for inspirat
ion to take up the c
ommitment to creatio
n set before us by t
he Gospel of Jesus.<
 for our earth</i></
ll-powerful God, you
 are present in the
whole universe<br />
 and in the smallest
 of your creatures.<
br /> You embrace wi
th your tenderness a
ll that exists.<br /
> Pour out upon us t
he power of your lov
e,<br /> hat we may
protect life and bea
uty.<br /> Fill us w
ith peace, that we m
ay live <br /> as br
others and sisters,
harming no one.<br /
> O God of the poor,
<br /> help us to re
scue the abandoned a
nd forgotten of this
 earth,<br /> so pre
cious in your eyes.<
br /> Bring healing
to our lives, <br />
 that we may protect
 the world and not p
rey on it,<br /> tha
t we may sow beauty,
 not pollution and d
estruction.<br /> To
uch the hearts<br />
 of those who look o
nly for gain<br /> a
t the expense of the
 poor and the earth.
<br /> Teach us to d
iscover the worth of
 each thing,<br /> t
o be filled with awe
 and contemplation,<
br /> to recognize t
hat we are profoundl
y united<br /> with
every creature<br />
 as we journey towar
ds your infinite lig
ht.<br /> We thank y
ou for being with us
 each day.<br /> Enc
ourage us, we pray,
in our struggle<br /
> for justice, love
<i>A Christian praye
r in union with crea
praise you with all
your creatures. <br
/> They came forth f
rom your all-powerfu
l hand;<br /> they a
re yours, filled wit
h your presence and
your tender love.<br
 /> Praise be to you
d, Jesus,<br /> thro
ugh you all things w
ere made.<br /> You
were formed in the w
omb of Mary our Moth
er,<br /> you became
 part of this earth,
<br /> and you gazed
 upon this world wit
h human eyes.<br />
Today you are alive
in every creature<br
 /> in your risen gl
ory.<br /> Praise be
, by your light<br /
> you guide this wor
ld towards the Fathe
 accompany creation
as it groans in trav
ail.<br /> You also
dwell in our hearts
<br /> and you inspi
re us to do what is
good.<br /> Praise b
d, wondrous communit
y of infinite love,<
br /> teach us to co
ntemplate you<br />
in the beauty of the
 universe,<br /> for
 all things speak of
 you.<br /> Awaken o
ur praise and thankf
ulness<br /> for eve
ry being that you ha
ve made. <br /> Give
 us the grace to fee
l profoundly joined<
br /> to everything
d of love, show us o
ur place in this wor
ld<br /> as channels
 of your love<br />
for all the creature
s of this earth,<br
/> for not one of th
em is forgotten in y
our sight.<br /> Enl
ighten those who pos
sess power and money
<br /> that they may
 avoid the sin of in
difference,<br /> th
at they may love the
 common good, advanc
e the weak, <br /> a
nd care for this wor
ld in which we live.
<br /> The poor and
the earth are crying
 out.<br /> O Lord,
seize us with your p
ower and light, <br
/> help us to protec
t all life,<br /> to
 prepare for a bette
r future,<br /> for
the coming of your K
ingdom<br /> of just
ice, peace, love and
 beauty.<br /> Prais
e be to you!<br /> A
Given in Rome at Sai
ay, the Solemnity of
 Pentecost, in the y
ear 2015, the third
of my Pontificate.</
p align="center"><b>
Franciscus</b><br cl
ear="all" /> &nbsp;<
left" size="1" width
> <a name="_ftn1" ti
tle="" href="#_ftnre
f1">[1]</a><i> Canti
cle of the Creatures
</i>, in <i>Francis
of Assisi: Early Doc
uments</i>, vol. 1,
New York-London-Mani
la, 1999, 113-114.</
ign="left"> <a name=
"_ftn2" title="" hre
> Apostolic Letter <
i> <a href="http://w
ml">Octogesima Adven
iens</a> </i>(14 May
 1971), 21: AAS 63 (
="left"> <a name="_f
tn3" title="" href="
#_ftnref3">[3]</a> <
i> <a href="http://w
l">Address to FAO on
 the 25th Anniversar
y of its Institution
</a> </i>(16 Novembe
r 1970), 4: AAS 62 (
ft"> <a name="_ftn4"
 title="" href="#_ft
nref4">[4]</a> Encyc
lical Letter <i> <a
edemptor Hominis</a>
</i> (4 March 1979),
 15: AAS 71 (1979),
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn5" title=
"" href="#_ftnref5">
[5]</a> Cf. <i> <a h
> (17 January 2001),
 4: <i>Insegnamenti
</i>41/1 (2001), 179
 align="left"> <a na
me="_ftn6" title=""
</a> Encyclical Lett
er <i> <a href="http
s.html">Centesimus A
nnus</a> </i>(1 May
1991), 38: AAS 83 (1
t"> <a name="_ftn7"
title="" href="#_ftn
ref7">[7]</a> <a hre
/a>., 58: AAS 83 (19
eft"> <a name="_ftn8
" title="" href="#_f
tnref8">[8]</a> JOHN
 PAUL II, Encyclical
 Letter <i> <a href=
>Sollicitudo Rei Soc
ialis</a> </i>(30 De
cember 1987), 34: AA
S 80 (1988), 559.</p
gn="left"> <a name="
_ftn9" title="" href
 Cf. ID., Encyclical
 Letter <i> <a href=
mus Annus</a> </i>(1
 May 1991), 37: AAS
n="left"> <a name="_
ftn10" title="" href
a> <i> <a href="http
Address to the Diplo
matic Corps Accredit
ed to the Holy See</
a> </i>(8 January 20
07): AAS 99 (2007),
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn11" title
="" href="#_ftnref11
">[11]</a> Encyclica
l Letter <i> <a href
aritas in Veritate</
a> </i>(29 June 2009
), 51: AAS 101 (2009
> <a name="_ftn12" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef12">[12]</a> <i> <
a href="
s to the Bundestag</
a></i>, Berlin (22 S
eptember 2011): AAS
103 (2011), 664.</p>
gn="left"> <a name="
_ftn13" title="" hre
/a><i> <a href="http
ddress to the Clergy
 of the Diocese of B
> </i>(6 August 2008
): AAS 100 (2008), 6
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn14" title
="" href="#_ftnref14
">[14]</a><i> Messag
e for the Day of Pra
yer for the Protecti
on of Creation </i>(
1 September 2012).</
lign="left"> <a name
="_ftn15" title="" h
]</a><i> Address in
Santa Barbara, Calif
ornia </i>(8 Novembe
r 1997); cf. JOHN CH
th as in Heaven: Eco
logical Vision and I
nitiatives of Ecumen
ical Patriarch Barth
olomew</i>, Bronx, N
="left"> <a name="_f
tn16" title="" href=
> <a name="_ftn17" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef17">[17]</a> <i>Le
cture at the Monaste
ry of Utstein, Norwa
y (23 June 2003).</i
p align="left"> <a n
ame="_ftn18" title="
" href="#_ftnref18">
esponsibility and Ec
ological Sustainabil
ng Remarks, Halki Su
mmit I, Istanbul (20
left"> <a name="_ftn
19" title="" href="#
>The Life of Saint F
rancis</i>, I, 29, 8
1: in <i>Francis of
Assisi: Early Docume
nts</i>, vol. 1, New
eft"> <a name="_ftn2
0" title="" href="#_
ftnref20">[20]</a> <
i>The Major Legend o
f Saint Francis</i>,
 VIII, 6, in <i>Fran
cis of Assisi: Early
 Documents</i>, vol.
 2, New York-London-
Manila, 2000, 590.</
lign="left"> <a name
="_ftn22" title="" h
storal Statement on
the Environmental Cr
isis </i>(5 Septembe
"> <a name="_ftn23"
title="" href="#_ftn
ref23">[23]</a> Cf.
<i> <a href="http://
ao.html">Greeting to
 the Staff of FAO</a
> </i>(20 November 2
014): AAS 106 (2014)
 <a name="_ftn24" ti
tle="" href="#_ftnre
f24">[24]</a> FIFTH
PS, <i> Aparecida Do
cument</i> (29 June
ft"> <a name="_ftn25
" title="" href="#_f
tnref25">[25]</a> CA
IPPINES, Pastoral Le
tter <i>What is Happ
ening to our Beautif
ul Land?</i> (29 Jan
eft"> <a name="_ftn2
6" title="" href="#_
ftnref26">[26]</a> B
Letter on the Enviro
nment and Human Deve
lopment in Bolivia <
i>El universo, don d
e Dios para la vida
</i>(23 March 2012),
  <p align="left"> <
a name="_ftn27" titl
e="" href="#_ftnref2
7">[27]</a> Cf. GERM
ENCE, Commission for
 Social Issues, <i>D
er Klimawandel: Bren
npunkt globaler, int
ergenerationeller un
d &ouml;kologischer
Gerechtigkeit</i> (S
eptember 2006), 28-3
<p align="left"> <a
name="_ftn28" title=
"" href="#_ftnref28"
>[28]</a> PONTIFICAL
 AND PEACE, <i> <a h
endium of the Social
 Doctrine of the Chu
rch</a></i>, 483.</p
ign="left"> <a name=
"_ftn29" title="" hr
</a> <i> <a href="ht
is</a> </i>(5 June 2
013): <i>Insegnament
i </i>1/1 (2013), 28
<p align="left"> <a
name="_ftn30" title=
"" href="#_ftnref30"
>[30]</a> BISHOPS OF
), <i>Christmas Mess
age </i> (December 2
"> <a name="_ftn31"
title="" href="#_ftn
ref31">[31]</a> UNIT
, <i>Global Climate
Change: A Plea for D
ialogue, Prudence an
d the Common Good </
i>(15 June 2001).</p
ign="left"> <a name=
"_ftn32" title="" hr
parecida Document</i
> (29 June 2007), 47
<p align="left"> <a
name="_ftn33" title=
"" href="#_ftnref33"
>[33]</a> Apostolic
Exhortation <i> <a h
vangelii Gaudium</a>
 </i>(24 November 20
13), 56: AAS 105 (20
ft"> <a name="_ftn34
" title="" href="#_f
tnref34">[34]</a> JO
HN PAUL II, <i> <a h
ce.html">Message for
 the 1990 World Day
of Peace</a></i>, 12
: AAS 82 (1990), 154
p align="left"> <a n
ame="_ftn35" title="
" href="#_ftnref35">
[35]</a> ID., <i> <a
</i>(17 January 2001
), 3: <i>Insegnament
i </i>24/1 (2001), 1
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn36" title
="" href="#_ftnref36
">[36]</a> JOHN PAUL
 II, <i> <a href="ht
">Message for the 19
90 World Day of Peac
e</a></i>, 15: AAS 8
="left"> <a name="_f
tn37" title="" href=
><i> Catechism of th
e Catholic Church</i
> <a name="_ftn38" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef38">[38]</a><i> An
gelus</i> in Osnabr&
uuml;ck (Germany) wi
th the disabled, 16
November 1980: <i> I
nsegnamenti </i>3/2
"left"> <a name="_ft
n39" title="" href="
a href="
html">Homily for the
 Solemn Inauguration
 of the Petrine Mini
stry</a> </i> (24 Ap
ril 2005): AAS 97 (2
ft"> <a name="_ftn40
" title="" href="#_f
tnref40">[40]</a> Cf
e Major Legend of Sa
int Francis</i>, VII
I, 1, in <i> Francis
 of Assisi: Early Do
cuments</i>, vol. 2,
 New York-London-Man
n="left"> <a name="_
ftn41" title="" href
a><i> Catechism of t
he Catholic Church</
t"> <a name="_ftn42"
 title="" href="#_ft
nref42">[42]</a> GER
RENCE, <i>Zukunft de
 Zukunft der Menschh
eit. Einkl&auml;rung
 der Deutschen Bisch
ofskonferenz zu Frag
en der Umwelt und de
r Energieversorgung<
/i>, (1980), II, 2.<
align="left"> <a nam
e="_ftn43" title=""
3]</a><i> Catechism
of the Catholic Chur
left"> <a name="_ftn
44" title="" href="#
i> Hom. in Hexaemero
n, </i>I, 2, 10: PG
 <a name="_ftn45" ti
tle="" href="#_ftnre
f45">[45]</a><i> The
 Divine Comedy, Para
diso</i>, Canto XXXI
"> <a name="_ftn46"
title="" href="#_ftn
ref46">[46]</a> BENE
DICT XVI, <i> <a hre
l">Catechesis</a> </
i>(9 November 2005),
 3: <i>Insegnamenti
</i>1 (2005), 768.</
lign="left"> <a name
="_ftn47" title="" h
]</a> ID., Encyclica
l Letter<i> <a href=
ritas in Veritate</a
> </i>(29 June 2009)
, 51: AAS 101 (2009)
 <a name="_ftn48" ti
tle="" href="#_ftnre
f48">[48]</a> JOHN P
AUL II, <i>Catechesi
s </i>(24 April 1991
), 6: <i>Insegnament
i </i>14 (1991), 856
p align="left"> <a n
ame="_ftn49" title="
" href="#_ftnref49">
[49]</a> The Catechi
sm explains that God
 wished to create a
urneying towards its
 ultimate perfection
mplies the presence
of imperfection and
physical evil; cf. <
i>Catechism of the C
atholic Church</i>,
  <p align="left"> <
a name="_ftn50" titl
e="" href="#_ftnref5
0">[50]</a> Cf. SECO
L COUNCIL, Pastoral
Constitution on the
Church in the Modern
 World <i><a href="h
audium et Spes</a></
> <a name="_ftn51" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef51">[51]</a> THOMA
S AQUINAS, <i>Summa
Theologiae</i>, I, q
. 104, art. 1 ad 4.<
align="left"> <a nam
e="_ftn52" title=""
2]</a> ID., <i>In oc
to libros Physicorum
 Aristotelis exposit
io</i>, Lib. II, lec
> <a name="_ftn53" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef53">[53]</a> Again
st this horizon we c
an set the contribut
ion of Fr Teilhard d
e Chardin; cf. PAUL
VI, <i>Address in a
Chemical and Pharmac
eutical Plant </i>(2
4 February 1966): <i
>Insegnamenti </i>4
(1966), 992-993; JOH
N PAUL II, <i> <a hr
coyne.html">Letter t
o the Reverend Georg
e Coyne</a> </i>(1 J
une 1988): <i>Insegn
amenti </i>11/2 (198
8), 1715; BENEDICT X
VI, <i> <a href="htt
ta.html">Homily for
the Celebration of V
espers in Aosta</a>
</i>(24 July 2009):
<i>Insegnamenti </i>
n="left"> <a name="_
ftn54" title="" href
a> JOHN PAUL II, <i>
 <a href="http://w2.
a> </i>(30 January 2
002),6: <i>Insegname
nti </i>25/1 (2002),
<a name="_ftn55" tit
le="" href="#_ftnref
55">[55]</a> CANADIA
 Pastoral Letter <i>
You Love All that Ex
re Yours, God, Lover
ctober 2003), 1.</p>
gn="left"> <a name="
_ftn56" title="" hre
PAN, <i>Reverence fo
r Life. A Message fo
r the Twenty-First C
entury</i> (1 Januar
left"> <a name="_ftn
57" title="" href="#
JOHN PAUL II, <i> <a
</i>(26 January 2000
), 5: <i>Insegnament
i </i>23/1 (2000), 1
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn58" title
="" href="#_ftnref58
">[58]</a> ID., <i>
<a href="http://w2.v
></i> (2 August 2000
), 3: <i>Insegnament
i </i>23/2 (2000), 1
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn59" title
="" href="#_ftnref59
">[59]</a> PAUL RICO
EUR, <i>Philosophie
de la Volont&eacute;
, t. II: Finitude et
/i>, Paris, 2009, 21
<p align="left"> <a
name="_ftn60" title=
"" href="#_ftnref60"
>[60]</a><i> Summa T
heologiae</i>, I, q.
left"> <a name="_ftn
61" title="" href="#
<a name="_ftn62" tit
le="" href="#_ftnref
62">[62]</a> Cf. ibi
d., art. 2, ad 1; ar
<a name="_ftn63" tit
le="" href="#_ftnref
63">[63]</a><i> Cate
chism of the Catholi
c Church</i>, 340.</
lign="left"> <a name
="_ftn64" title="" h
]</a> <i>Canticle of
 the Creatures</i>,
in <i>Francis of Ass
isi: Early Documents
</i>, New York-Londo
n-Manila, 1999, 113-
  <p align="left"> <
a name="_ftn65" titl
e="" href="#_ftnref6
5">[65]</a> Cf. NATI
, <i>A Igreja e a Qu
est&atilde;o Ecol&oa
cute;gica,</i> 1992,
> <a name="_ftn66" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef66">[66]</a> Ibid.
<a name="_ftn67" tit
le="" href="#_ftnref
67">[67]</a> Apostol
ic Exhortation <i> <
a href="
">Evangelii Gaudium<
/a> </i>(24 November
 2013), 215: AAS 105
="left"> <a name="_f
tn68" title="" href=
Encyclical Letter <i
> <a href="/content/
>Caritas in Veritate
</a></i> (29 June 20
09), 14: AAS 101 (20
t"> <a name="_ftn69"
 title="" href="#_ft
nref69">[69]</a> <i>
Catechism of the Cat
holic Church</i>, 24
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn70" title
="" href="#_ftnref70
">[70]</a> CONFERENC
PS, Pastoral Letter
<i>Sobre la relaci&o
acute;n del hombre c
on la naturaleza</i>
 (21 January 1987).
 align="left"> <a na
me="_ftn71" title=""
71]</a> JOHN PAUL II
, Encyclical Letter
<i> <a href="http://
tml">Laborem Exercen
s</a> </i>(14 Septem
ber 1981), 19: AAS 7
Hello World... From RicMoo.
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn75" title
="" href="#_ftnref75
">[75]</a><i> Homily
 at Mass for Farmers
, </i>Recife, Brazil
 (7 July 1980): AAS
72 (1980): AAS 72 (1
ft"> <a name="_ftn76
" title="" href="#_f
tnref76">[76]</a> Cf
. <i> <a href="http:
essage for the 1990
World Day of Peace</
a></i>, 8: AAS 82 (1
="left"> <a name="_f
tn72" title="" href=
> Encyclical Letter
<i> <a href="http://
tml">Centesimus Annu
s</a></i> (1 May 199
1), 31: AAS 83 (1991
> <a name="_ftn73" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef73">[73]</a> Encyc
lical Letter <i> <a
html"> Sollicitudo R
ei Socialis</a> </i>
(30 December 1987),
33: AAS 80 (1988), 5
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn74" title
="" href="#_ftnref74
">[74]</a> <i>Addres
s to Indigenous and
Rural People, </i>Cu
ilap&aacute;n, Mexic
o (29 January 1979),
 6: AAS 71 (1979), 2
ft"> <a name="_ftn77
" title="" href="#_f
tnref77">[77]</a> PA
 Letter <i>El campes
ino paraguayo y la t
ierra </i>(12 June 1
="left"> <a name="_f
tn78" title="" href=
E, <i>Statement on E
nvironmental Issues<
/i> (1 September 200
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn79" title
="" href="#_ftnref79
">[79]</a> Encyclica
l Letter <i> <a href
m Exercens</a></i> (
14 September 1981),
27: AAS 73 (1981), 6
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn80" title
="" href="#_ftnref80
">[80]</a> Hence Sai
nt Justin could spea
d; cf. <i>II Apologi
a</i> 8, 1-2; 13, 3-
6: PG 6, 457-458, 46
<p align="left"> <a
name="_ftn81" title=
"" href="#_ftnref81"
>[81]</a> JOHN PAUL
II,<i> <a href="http
ress to Scientists a
nd Representatives o
f the United Nations
 Hiroshima (25 Febru
ary 1981), 3: AAS 73
"left"> <a name="_ft
n82" title="" href="
lical Letter <i> <a
l">Caritas in Verita
te</a></i> (29 June
2009), 69: AAS 101 (
eft"> <a name="_ftn8
3" title="" href="#_
ftnref83">[83]</a> R
as Ende der Neuzeit<
/i>, 9th ed., W&uuml
;rzburg, 1965, 87 (E
nglish: <i>The End o
f the Modern World</
i>, Wilmington, 1998
 <a name="_ftn84" ti
tle="" href="#_ftnre
f84">[84]</a> Ibid.<
align="left"> <a nam
e="_ftn85" title=""
5]</a> Ibid., 87-88
(<i>The End of the M
odern World,</i> 83)
p align="left"> <a n
ame="_ftn86" title="
" href="#_ftnref86">
AND PEACE, <i> <a hr
ndium of the Social
Doctrine of the Chur
ch</a></i>, 462.</p>
gn="left"> <a name="
_ftn87" title="" hre
 <i>Das Ende der Neu
zeit</i>, 63-64 (<i>
The End of the Moder
n World</i>, 56).</p
ign="left"> <a name=
"_ftn88" title="" hr
</a> Ibid., 64 (<i>T
he End of the Modern
 World</i>, 56).</p>
Mined by AntPool usa1
gn="left"> <a name="
_ftn89" title="" hre
, Encyclical Letter<
i> <a href="http://w
te.html">Caritas in
Veritate</a></i> (29
 June 2009), 35: AAS
 101 (2009), 671.</p
ign="left"> <a name=
"_ftn90" title="" hr
</a> Ibid., 22: p. 6
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn91" title
="" href="#_ftnref91
">[91]</a> Apostolic
 Exhortation <i> <a
Evangelii Gaudium</a
></i> (24 November 2
013), 231: AAS 105 (
left"> <a name="_ftn
92" title="" href="#
Das Ende der Neuzeit
</i>, 63 (<i>The End
 of the Modern World
ft"> <a name="_ftn93
" title="" href="#_f
tnref93">[93]</a> JO
HN PAUL II, Encyclic
al Letter <i> <a hre
simus Annus</a></i>
(1 May 1991), 38: AA
S 83 (1991), 841.</p
ign="left"> <a name=
"_ftn94" title="" hr
</a> Cf. <i>Love for
 Creation. An Asian
Response to the Ecol
ogical Crisis</i>, D
eclaration of the Co
lloquium sponsored b
y the Federation of
ferences (Tagatay, 3
1 January-5 February
="left"> <a name="_f
tn95" title="" href=
clical Letter <i> <a
entesimus Annus</a><
/i> (1 May 1991), 37
: AAS 83 (1991), 840
p align="left"> <a n
ame="_ftn96" title="
" href="#_ftnref96">
[96]</a> BENEDICT XV
I, <i> <a href="http
ssage for the 2010 W
orld Day of Peace</a
></i>, 2: AAS 102 (2
t"> <a name="_ftn97"
 title="" href="#_ft
nref97">[97]</a> ID.
, Encyclical Letter
<i> <a href="http://
ate.html">Caritas in
 Veritate</a></i> (2
9 June 2009), 28: AA
S 101 (2009), 663.</
lign="left"> <a name
="_ftn98" title="" h
]</a> Cf. VINCENT OF
 LERINS, <i>Commonit
orium Primum</i>, ch
onsolidetur, dilatet
ur tempore, sublimet
"left"> <a name="_ft
n99" title="" href="
 No. 80: AAS 105 (20
eft"> <a name="_ftn1
00" title="" href="#
toral Constitution o
n the Church in the
Modern World <i><a h
tml"> Gaudium et Spe
n="left"> <a name="_
ftn101" title="" hre
]</a> Cf. JOHN PAUL
II, Encyclical Lette
r <i> <a href="http:
.html">Centesimus An
nus</a> </i> (1 May
1991), 37: AAS 83 (1
eft"> <a name="_ftn1
02" title="" href="#
> PAUL VI, Encyclica
l Letter <i> <a href
>Populorum Progressi
o</a> </i>(26 March
1967), 34: AAS 59 (1
eft"> <a name="_ftn1
03" title="" href="#
clical Letter <i> <a
ml">Caritas in Verit
ate</a></i> (29 June
 2009), 32: AAS 101
"left"> <a name="_ft
n104" title="" href=
ft"> <a name="_ftn10
5" title="" href="#_
> <a name="_ftn106"
title="" href="#_ftn
ref106">[106]</a> <i
>Catechism of the Ca
tholic Church</i>, 2
="left"> <a name="_f
tn107" title="" href
</a> Ibid., 2418.</p
lign="left"> <a name
="_ftn108" title=""
108]</a> Ibid., 2415
<p align="left"> <a
name="_ftn109" title
="" href="#_ftnref10
9">[109]</a> <i> <a
ace.html">Message fo
r the 1990 World Day
 of Peace</a></i>, 6
: AAS 82 (1990), 150
<p align="left"> <a
name="_ftn110" title
="" href="#_ftnref11
0">[110]</a> <i>Addr
ess to the Pontifica
l Academy of Science
s </i>(3 October 198
1), 3: <i>Insegnamen
ti </i>4/2 (1981), 3
  <p align="left"> <
a name="_ftn111" tit
le="" href="#_ftnref
111">[111]</a> <i> <
a href="
for the 1990 World D
ay of Peace</a></i>,
 7: AAS 82 (1990), 1
  <p align="left"> <
a name="_ftn112" tit
le="" href="#_ftnref
112">[112]</a> JOHN
PAUL II, <i> <a href
.html">Address to th
e 35<sup>th</sup> Ge
neral Assembly of th
e World Medical Asso
ciation</a> </i>(29
October 1983), 6: AA
S 76 (1984), 394.</p
lign="left"> <a name
="_ftn113" title=""
113]</a> EPISCOPAL C
TINA, <i>Una tierra
para todos </i>(June
left"> <a name="_ftn
114" title="" href="
a> <i>Rio Declaratio
n on Environment and
 Development </i>(14
 June 1992), Princip
 <a name="_ftn115" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef115">[115]</a> Apo
stolic Exhortation <
i> <a href="http://w
html">Evangelii Gaud
ium</a></i> (24 Nove
mber 2013), 237: AAS
 105 (2013), 1116.</
align="left"> <a nam
e="_ftn116" title=""
[116]</a> BENEDICT X
VI, Encyclical Lette
r <i> <a href="http:
in Veritate</a></i>
(29 June 2009), 51:
AAS<i> </i>101 (2009
"> <a name="_ftn117"
 title="" href="#_ft
nref117">[117]</a> S
ome authors have emp
hasized the values f
requently found, for
 example, in the <i>
villas</i>, <i>chabo
las</i> or <i>favela
s</i> of Latin Ameri
a irrupci&oacute;n d
el pobre y la l&oacu
te;gica de la gratui
ELO PERINE (eds.), <
i>Irrupci&oacute;n d
el pobre y quehacer
filos&oacute;fico. H
acia una nueva racio
nalidad, </i>Buenos
Aires, 1993, 225-230
 <p align="left"> <a
 name="_ftn118" titl
e="" href="#_ftnref1
18">[118]</a> PONTIF
<a href="http://www.
Compendium of the So
cial Doctrine of the
 Church</a></i>, 482
<p align="left"> <a
name="_ftn119" title
="" href="#_ftnref11
9">[119]</a> Apostol
ic Exhortation <i> <
a href="
">Evangelii Gaudium<
/a> </i>(24 November
 2013), 210:<i> </i>
AAS 105 (2013), 1107
<p align="left"> <a
name="_ftn120" title
="" href="#_ftnref12
0">[120]</a> <i> <a
to the German Bundes
tag</a></i>, Berlin
(22 September 2011):
 AAS<i> </i>103 (201
t"> <a name="_ftn121
" title="" href="#_f
<i> <a href="http://
> </i>(15 April 2015
e Romano</i>, 16 Apr
n="left"> <a name="_
ftn122" title="" hre
 Pastoral Constituti
on on the Church in
the Modern World <i>
<a href="http://www.
en.html"> Gaudium et
 Spes</a></i>, 26. <
 align="left"> <a na
me="_ftn123" title="
" href="#_ftnref123"
>[123]</a> Cf. Nos.
186-201: AAS 105 (20
gn="left"> <a name="
_ftn124" title="" hr
 Pastoral Letter <i>
Responsabilidade Sol
id&aacute;ria pelo B
em Comum </i>(15 Sep
tember 2003), 20.</p
lign="left"> <a name
="_ftn125" title=""
125]</a> BENEDICT XV
I, <i> <a href="http
ssage for the 2010 W
orld Day of Peace</a
></i>, 8: AAS 102 (2
ft"> <a name="_ftn12
6" title="" href="#_
 <i>Rio Declaration
on Environment and D
evelopment</i> (14 J
une 1992), Principle
  <p align="left"> <
a name="_ftn127" tit
le="" href="#_ftnref
127">[127]</a> BOLIV
RENCE, Pastoral Lett
er on the Environmen
t and Human Developm
ent in Bolivia <i>El
 universo, don de Di
os para la vida</i>
(March 2012), 86.</p
lign="left"> <a name
="_ftn128" title=""
AND PEACE, <i>Energy
, Justice and Peace,
 </i>IV, 1, Vatican
City (2014), 53.</p>
ign="left"> <a name=
"_ftn129" title="" h
, Encyclical Letter
<i> <a href="http://
ate.html">Caritas in
 Veritate</a></i> (2
9 June 2009), 67: AA
="left"> <a name="_f
tn130" title="" href
</a> Apostolic Exhor
tation <i> <a href="
lii Gaudium</a> </i>
(24 November 2013),
222: AAS 105 (2013),
"> <a name="_ftn131"
 title="" href="#_ft
nref131">[131]</a> P
 <i> <a href="http:/
tml">Compendium of t
he Social Doctrine o
f the Church</a></i>
> <a name="_ftn132"
title="" href="#_ftn
ref132">[132]</a> <i
>Rio Declaration on
the Environment and
Development</i> (14
June 1992), Principl
 <a name="_ftn133" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef133">[133]</a> Cf.
CERNS, <i>Jesucristo
, vida y esperanza d
e los ind&iacute;gen
as e campesinos </i>
(14 January 2008). <
 align="left"> <a na
me="_ftn134" title="
" href="#_ftnref134"
>[134]</a> PONTIFICA
E AND PEACE, <i> <a
pendium of the Socia
l Doctrine of the Ch
urch</a></i>, 470.</
align="left"> <a nam
e="_ftn135" title=""
[135]</a> <i> <a hre
tml">Message for the
 2010 World Day of P
eace</a></i>, 9: AAS
 102 (2010), 46.</p>
ign="left"> <a name=
"_ftn136" title="" h
="left"> <a name="_f
tn137" title="" href
</a> Ibid., 5: p. 43
<p align="left"> <a
name="_ftn138" title
="" href="#_ftnref13
8">[138]</a> BENEDIC
T XVI, Encyclical Le
tter <i> <a href="ht
as in Veritate</a> <
/i>(29 June 2009), 5
0: AAS<i> </i>101 (2
eft"> <a name="_ftn1
39" title="" href="#
> Apostolic Exhortat
ion <i> <a href="htt
 Gaudium</a> </i>(24
 November 2013), 209
: AAS 105 (2013), 11
  <p align="left"> <
a name="_ftn140" tit
le="" href="#_ftnref
140">[140]</a> <a hr
id</a>., 228: AAS 10
gn="left"> <a name="
_ftn141" title="" hr
1]</a> Cf. Encyclica
l Letter <i> <a href
men Fidei</a> </i>(2
9 June 2013), 34: AA
f faith, joined to t
he truth of love, ex
traneous to the mate
rial world, for love
 is always lived out
 in body and spirit;
 the light of faith
is an incarnate ligh
t radiating from the
 luminous life of Je
sus. It also illumin
es the material worl
d, trusts its inhere
nt order, and knows
that it calls us to
an ever widening pat
h of harmony and und
erstanding. The gaze
 of science thus ben
efits from faith: fa
ith encourages the s
cientist to remain c
onstantly open to re
ality in all its ine
xhaustible richness.
 Faith awakens the c
ritical sense by pre
venting research fro
m being satisfied wi
th its own formulae
and helps it to real
ize that nature is a
lways greater. By st
imulating wonder bef
ore the profound mys
tery of creation, fa
ith broadens the hor
izons of reason to s
hed greater light on
 the world which dis
closes itself to sci
entific investigatio
 <a name="_ftn142" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef142">[142]</a> Apo
stolic Exhortation <
i> <a href="http://w
html">Evangelii Gaud
ium</a> </i>(24 Nove
mber 2013), 256: AAS
 105 (2013), 1123.</
align="left"> <a nam
e="_ftn143" title=""
[143]</a> <a href="h
>., 231: p. 1114.</p
lign="left"> <a name
="_ftn144" title=""
144]</a> ROMANO GUAR
DINI, <i>Das Ende de
r Neuzeit</i>, 9<sup
>th</sup> edition, W
&uuml;rzburg, 1965,
66-67 (English: <i>T
he End of the Modern
 World</i>, Wilmingt
n="left"> <a name="_
ftn145" title="" hre
<i> <a href="http://
sage for the 1990 Wo
rld Day of Peace</a>
,</i> 1: AAS 82 (199
t"> <a name="_ftn146
" title="" href="#_f
ical Letter <i> <a h
">Caritas in Veritat
e</a></i> (29 June 2
009), 66<i>: </i>AAS
 101 (2009), 699.</p
lign="left"> <a name
="_ftn147" title=""
147]</a> ID., <i> <a
ce.html">Message for
 the 2010 World Day
of Peace</a></i>, 11
<i>: </i>AAS 102 (20
t"> <a name="_ftn148
" title="" href="#_f
<i>Earth Charter</i>
, The Hague (29 June
"> <a name="_ftn149"
 title="" href="#_ft
nref149">[149]</a> J
OHN PAUL II, Encycli
cal Letter <i> <a hr
esimus Annus</a></i>
 (1 May 1991), 39: A
AS 83 (1991), 842.</
align="left"> <a nam
e="_ftn150" title=""
[150]</a> ID., <i> <
a href="
for the 1990 World D
ay of Peace</a></i>,
 14: AAS 82 (1990),
<a name="_ftn151" ti
tle="" href="#_ftnre
f151">[151]</a> Apos
tolic Exhortation <i
> <a href="http://w2
tml">Evangelii Gaudi
um</a></i> (24 Nov 2
013), 261: AAS 105 (
"left"> <a name="_ft
n152" title="" href=
> <a href="http://w2
to.html">Homily for
the Solemn Inaugurat
ion of the Petrine M
inistry</a> </i> (24
 April 2005): AAS 97
="left"> <a name="_f
tn153" title="" href
ERENCE, <i>A New Ear
ntal Challenge</i> (
> <a name="_ftn154"
title="" href="#_ftn
ref154">[154]</a> RO
s Ende der Neuzeit</
i>, 72 (<i>The End o
f the Modern World</
i>&cedil; 65-66). </
align="left"> <a nam
e="_ftn155" title=""
[155]</a> Apostolic
Exhortation <i> <a h
vangelii Gaudium</a>
</i> (24 November 20
13), 71: AAS 105 (20
eft"> <a name="_ftn1
56" title="" href="#
clical Letter <i> <a
ml">Caritas in Verit
ate</a></i> (29 June
 2009) 2: AAS 101 (2
eft"> <a name="_ftn1
57" title="" href="#
> PAUL VI, <i> <a hr
ssage for the 1977 W
orld Day of Peace</a
></i>: AAS 68 (1976)
> <a name="_ftn158"
title="" href="#_ftn
ref158">[158]</a> PO
<i> <a href="http://
ml">Compendium of th
e Social Doctrine of
 the Church</a></i>,
 <a name="_ftn159" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef159">[159]</a> The
 spiritual writer Al
i al-Khawas stresses
 from his own experi
ence the need not to
 put too much distan
ce between the creat
ures of the world an
d the interior exper
ience of God. As he
e should not have us
 criticize those who
 seek ecstasy in mus
ic or poetry. There
is a subtle mystery
in each of the movem
ents and sounds of t
his world. The initi
ate will capture wha
t is being said when
 the wind blows, the
 trees sway, water f
lows, flies buzz, do
ors creak, birds sin
g, or in the sound o
f strings or flutes,
 the sighs of the si
ck, the groans of th
ITCH [ed.], <i>Antho
logie du soufisme, <
/i>Paris 1978, 200).
p align="left"> <a n
ame="_ftn160" title=
"" href="#_ftnref160
">[160]</a> <i>In II
 Sent</i>., 23, 2, 3
<p align="left"> <a
name="_ftn161" title
="" href="#_ftnref16
1">[161]</a><i> C&aa
cute;ntico Espiritua
n="left"> <a name="_
ftn162" title="" hre
left"> <a name="_ftn
163" title="" href="
a> Ibid., XIV, 6-7.<
 align="left"> <a na
me="_ftn164" title="
" href="#_ftnref164"
>[164]</a> JOHN PAUL
 II, Apostolic Lette
r <i> <a href="http:
le Lumen</a></i> (2
May 1995), 11: AAS 8
n="left"> <a name="_
ftn165" title="" hre
]</a> Ibid<i>.</i></
align="left"> <a nam
e="_ftn166" title=""
[166]</a> ID., Encyc
lical Letter <i> <a
ia de Eucharistia</a
></i> (17 April 2003
), 8: AAS 95 (2003),
 <a name="_ftn167" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef167">[167]</a> BEN
EDICT XVI, <i> <a hr
mily for the Mass of
 Corpus Domini</a> <
/i>(15 June 2006): A
AS 98 (2006), 513.</
align="left"> <a nam
e="_ftn168" title=""
[168]</a><i> Catechi
sm of the Catholic C
hurch</i>, 2175.</p>
ign="left"> <a name=
"_ftn169" title="" h
69]</a> JOHN PAUL II
, <i> <a href="http:
sis</a></i> (2 Augus
t 2000), 4: <i>Inseg
namenti </i> 23/2 (2
eft"> <a name="_ftn1
70" title="" href="#
> <i>Quaest. Disp. d
e Myst. Trinitatis</
gn="left"> <a name="
_ftn171" title="" hr
1]</a> Cf. THOMAS AQ
UINAS, <i>Summa Theo
logiae,</i> I, q. 11
, art. 3; q. 21, art
. 1, ad 3; q. 47, ar
 <a name="_ftn172" t
itle="" href="#_ftnr
ef172">[172]</a> BAS
. in Hexaemeron</i>,
 I, 2, 6: PG 29, 8.<
ope Francis.jpg<0000
opyright (c) 1998 He
wlett-Packard Compan
1966-2.1 Default RGB
 colour space - sRGB
6-2.1 Default RGB co
 Viewing Condition i
ing Condition in IEC
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 30218339 km to Pluto.
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 30195988 km to Pluto.
(j&Apologies for bloating the blockchain.
(j&But I need to test chaining OP_RETURN.
Mined by AntPool bj1.:
Mined by AntPool usa1
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 30086869 km to Pluto.
Mined by AntPool bj6
'[] Yang is not just a code.
Mined by AntPool bj7
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29944863 km to Pluto.
Mined by AntPool bj7
&j$***BlockCypher Data Endpoint Test***HR?
&j$***BlockCypher Data Endpoint Test***S{
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29892128 km to Pluto.
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29847146 km to Pluto.
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29838376 km to Pluto.
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29818921 km to Pluto.
&j$***BlockCypher Data Endpoint Test***
&j$***BlockCypher Data Endpoint Test***
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29792046 km to Pluto.
Mined by AntPool sc0
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29790132 km to Pluto.
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29782312 km to Pluto.
Mined by AntPool bj1.:
%j#Senate Banking Committee calls for
%j#light touch approach to regulation
of Satoshi's invention
Mined by AntPool sc0
Mined by AntPool bj1.:
Mined by AntPool bj1.:
Mined by AntPool bj1.:
Mined by AntPool bj7
Mined by AntPool bj5
 Mined by AntPool usa1
Greece Goes Bitcoin!
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Mined by AntPool bj7
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29465035 km to Pluto.
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Hello Patrick Feeney @farBeyond
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/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29410629 km to Pluto.
Mined by AntPool sc182
Mined by AntPool bj8*p&Q U
2[] Happy Birthday Angelina Sophie Mow!
8Mined by AntPool sc182
C Iggins and Rabbit forever! U
Mined by AntPool usa1
Test post. Please ig
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29192281 km to Pluto.
Mined by AntPool usa1
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29135976 km to Pluto.
0Mined by AntPool sc0
The commodity market
s will dissolve the
moment #ElonMusk fin
ds his first mountai
n sized asteroid pac
ked with gold and si
ite Universe true sc
arcity exists only w
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29107328 km to Pluto.
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 29093328 km to Pluto.
Mined by AntPool usa1
Mined by AntPool sc0
Mined by AntPool sc182
Mined by AntPool usa1
Mined by AntPool usa0
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 28856992 km to Pluto.
Mined by AntPool sc182
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 28837373 km to Pluto.
Mined by AntPool bj6
Mined by AntPool bj5
Mined by AntPool usa1
Mined by AntPool sc0
Mined by AntPool sc0
"j 2ab94b3bf9b03ab947fd68a082165d97
 archivo : It was on
ly waiting me - Publ
        : b24bb420ad
    : a5472a84aeaf7f
n : 01/02/2015 22:55
only waiting me - by
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stered:2015-02-01 22
nt:Show digital fing
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Mined by AntPool sc182
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 28644759 km to Pluto.
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 28598647 km to Pluto.
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 28561691 km to Pluto.
Mined by AntPool bj1.:
Mined by AntPool usa0
Mined by AntPool sc0
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 28397099 km to Pluto.
Mined by AntPool usa1
Mined by AntPool bj1.:
Mined by AntPool usa1
  Only on!
Mined by AntPool bj5
Mined by AntPool bj6
/BV8000000/*New Horizons is 28223384 km to Pluto.
 Mined by AntPool usa1
unsuccessful double-spend attempt

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