Pope tackles issues of ecology and energy use
December 13, 2006:
||"Humanity, if it truly desires peace, must be increasingly conscious of the links between natural ecology - or respect of nature - and human ecology"
The Pope yesterday spoke out about how peace can only be attained by respecting the natural environment as well as the human environment.
"Not only has God given the earth to humanity, who must use it with respect
for the original good purpose for which it was given, but humanity too
is God's gift to humanity," Benedict XVI explained in his papal message in support of World Peace Day on January 1.
"Alongside the ecology of nature, there exists what can be called a 'human' ecology, which in turn demands a 'social' ecology. "Humanity, if it truly desires peace, must be increasingly conscious of the links between natural ecology - or respect of nature - and human ecology… Experience shows that a disregard for the environment always harms human coexistence, and vice versa."
As proof of the relationship between "natural" and "human" ecology, he cited "the increasingly serious problem of energy supplies."
"In recent years, new nations have entered enthusiastically into
industrial production, thereby increasing their energy needs. This has led to an unprecedented race for available resources. Meanwhile, some parts of the planet remain backward and development is effectively blocked, partly because of the rise in energy prices."
"What will happen to these peoples?" asks the Pontiff. "What kind of
development or non-development will be imposed on them by the scarcity
of energy supplies? What injustices and conflicts will be provoked by
the race for energy sources? And what will be the reaction of those who are excluded from this race?"
"These are questions that show how respect for nature is closely linked to the need to establish, between individuals and between nations, relationships that are attentive to the dignity of the person and capable of satisfying his or her authentic
needs. The destruction of the environment, its improper or selfish use, and
the violent hoarding of the earth's resources cause grievances,
conflicts and wars, precisely because they are the consequences of an
inhumane concept of development.
"Indeed, if development were limited to the technical-economic aspect,
obscuring the moral-religious dimension, it would not be an integral
human development, but a one-sided distortion which would end up by
unleashing man's destructive capacities."
"The ecology of peace" is one of the most important sections of his
message for World Day of Peace, to be observed Jan. 1 with the theme:
"The Human Person, Heart of Peace."
Link here for the complete papal message.
Link here for a Statement on the Environment published by the Catholic Bishops Conference for England and Wales.