Ethical Principles

Catholic Ethical Principles

Nature as God’s creative action The 1990 World Day of Peace Message of Pope John Paul II presented a comprehensive but concise overview of the spiritual and moral dimensions of environmental problems. From it can be drawn a set of principles for making ethical judgements about environmental issues. These can be applied to the issue of global warming and its implications for the future ofAustralia;
  • The natural world has value in itself and not merely for its use by human.
  • The world and all in it must be freed from what can be termed a state of suffering.
  • Humans are part of the created world and inextricably part of a material existence.
  • Earth belongs to God and on loan to humans who are called to care for it.
  • Human choices in their use of the Earth give humanity a hand in forming its history, a vocation to heightened consciousness within the life of Earth.
  • Ecological education provides the background for wise and moral decisions.
  • There are limits to world resources and the environmental services that Earth can meet before pushing it to a new epoch.
  • Global resources are to be managed cooperatively at the local and international levels.
  • Excessive demands are imposed on the Earth by nations with a consumerist economy and life-style.
  • Restraint, penance and self imposed limitations are part of authentic human living and in the tradition of choosing sacrifice for the greater good.
  • The fascinating beauty and intricacy deep in the natural world has great value for the artist and for healing the human spirit and body.
  • The right to a safe ecological environment is a universal human right.
  • Models of development, social structure and styles of technology must integrate environmental factors if there is to be authentic development.
  • Super-development, often for the purpose of economic gain, poses an additional threat to the environment.
  • The use of Genetic Engineering poses unknown environmental outcomes when genetic materials are swapped between species, and it may threaten food security.
  • Warfare has multiple negative environmental impacts and eats up much of the world’s financial resources.
  • Political leaders at every level have a duty to administer a nation for the good of all, including its environmental goods.
  • Issues of global significance demand solidarity and cooperation at a formal level of international agreements to implement change, especially by sharing technology.
  • The richer nations have an obligation to dismantle structural forms of global poverty and help poorer nations experiencing social or environmental problems.
  • Future generations should not to be robbed or left with extra burdens for truly they have a claim to a just administration of the world’s resources by this generation. go to John Paul II, Messages, Peace 1990.


REF: Catholic


Adapted by the Columban Centre for Peace Ecology and Justice

Email [email protected], ph 02 9352 8021

Connection between Human Ecology and Natural Ecology
Human Rights and Duties
Common Good
Universal Destination of Goods
Environment as Home
Nature of each being and its mutual connection in an ordered system
Respect for women and men and respect for the integrity of all creation