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.
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/index.htm go to John Paul II, Messages, Peace 1990.
REF: Catholic EarthcareAustraliawww.catholicearthcareoz.net
Adapted by the Columban Centre for Peace Ecology and Justice
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