Vatican Encyclical Calls on Rich Nations to Tackle Ecological Crisis

The Vatican has unveiled Pope Francis’ historic encyclical on climate change, urging world leaders to pay their “grave social debt” to the poor and take swift action to save the planet from environmental ruin. Pope Francis calls for a change of lifestyle in rich countries steeped in a “throwaway” consumer culture, and an end to “obstructionist attitudes” that sometimes put profit before the common good. In a nearly, 200-page document, the pope writes: “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.” Presenting the encyclical, a Vatican official said it should encourage the merging of environmental consciousness with spiritual teachings.

John Zizioulas: “As it emerges clearly from the encyclical, the ecological crisis is essentially a spiritual problem. The proper relationship between humanity and the Earth or its natural environment has been broken with the fall both outwardly and within us, and this rupture constitutes what we call sin. The church must now introduce in its teaching about sin the sin against the environment, the ecological sin. Repentance must be extended to cover also the damage we do to nature both as individuals and as societies.”

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice

Environment Ethics

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