Ecology and Mission

Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, in their readings of the signs of the times, both put dialogue at the centre of mission. [1] To paraphrase Pope John Paul II, since mission is primarily the work of the Holy Spirit, Catholics are now discovering that the Spirit is speaking both through the environmental movement and through the events of climate change itself. Notably, Pope John Paul II insisted that the listening, dialogue and cooperation that flows from being attentive to the Spirit is an opportunity for both sides to learn and grow. Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his 2008 World Day of Peace Message: ‘Earth is the human family’s common home.’

Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching, St Pauls, Homebush, 2004, Chapter 10, specifically Nos. 461–463.

[1] To quote the words of Pope John Paul II, World Day of Peace Message, 1990.

[1] John Paul II: ‘The Jubilee is a further summons to conversion of heart through a change of life. It is a reminder to all that they should give absolute importance neither to the goods of the Earth, since these are not God, nor to man’s domination or claim to domination, since the Earth belongs to God and to him alone (Leviticus 25:23)’. Bull Proclaiming Great Jubilee 1998, No. 12.

[1] John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio (Mission of the Redeemer) 1990, No. 56–58