06/18/2020, 14.54
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Vatican: integral ecology to protect man's future together with nature

Published the document "On the journey towards care for our common home - Five years after Laudato si", prepared by the Holy See interdicasterial roundtable. It highlights the central statement of the Encyclical: everything is connected, there are no separate crises, but a single and complex socio-environmental crisis that requires a true ecological conversion.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The promotion of "integral ecology" at the operational level five years after the publication of Laudato Si'. This is the aim of the document "On the journey towards care for our common home - Five years after Laudato si ", prepared by the interdicasterial roundtable of the Holy See, presented today at the Vatican.

It is a volume of 227 pages, the result of collaboration between the Vatican dicasteries committed to the theme, episcopal conferences and Catholic organizations, such as Caritas, which highlights the central affirmation of the Encyclical: everything is connected, there are no separate crises, but a single and complex socio-environmental crisis that requires a true ecological conversion.

It begins with the affirmation of the need for an ecological conversion that affirms the centrality of life and of the person and also of creation, against the "culture of waste". In this perspective, the family is the "protagonist of integral ecology" which can become a "privileged educational place".

Family formation naturally concerns the school that must acquire "a new centrality", aiming to develop discernment skills, critical thinking and responsible action.

The need for catechesis to dwell on the environmental question still concerns the formation of the person, thus becoming "an occasion for the first announcement of the Christian faith for those who do not believe". In this regard, today at the presentation of the document, Msgr. Angelo Vincenzo Zani, secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, recalled three examples at university level: "a) the Pontifical Javerian University of Bogota has created an Institute of higher studies to promote the "common home" by initiating and coordinating numerous initiatives in many other Latin American universities; b) A network of Catholic universities is promoting research projects in various continents through the Faculties of Agriculture and involving local public institutions; c) The Roman Pontifical Universities have for two years created a Joint Diploma in Integral Ecology, a valuable initiative that is successful".

The topic of nutrition opens the second part of the document. Food waste is defined as an act of injustice, we are invited to promote "diversified and sustainable" agriculture, in defense of small producers and natural resources, and healthy food education.

In this regard, today Aloysius John, general secretary of Caritas Internationalis gave the example of Caritas India and Caritas Asia which aim to provide new knowledge and skills among small farmers to avoid excessive use of fertilizers.

This includes the claim that access to water is "an essential human right", which must also be protected by reducing the use of disposable plastics, combating pollution of aquifers and implementation of international and national conventions that protect access to water resources.

Along the same lines there is the need to reduce pollution and invest in "clean and renewable" energy, accessible to all, so as to respond "to the needs of the poorest populations and limit global warming". Exemplary, in this regard, the diocese of Maasin, in the Philippines, the first in the world to equip all parishes with solar panels. In this regard, today Msgr. Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, L.C., secretary general of the Governorate, recalled, among other things, the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof of the Paul VI Hall, which "are capable of producing electricity without polluting substances".


The document therefore calls for the promotion of sustainable lifestyles and consumption patterns, which "respect ecosystems and the limitation of natural resources", also protecting traditional communities and indigenous peoples.

Furthermore, the "circular economy" must be promoted, which does not aim at the excessive exploitation of productive resources, but rather at their long-term maintenance, so that they are reusable. Even the world of finance must aim for the "primacy of the common good" and at trying to eradicate poverty. "The same pandemic from Covid-19 demonstrates how a system that reduces welfare or that allows great speculation even in disasters is to be questioned, turning back to the poorest".

The same is true for the climate issue which has a "profound relevance" to the environment, ethics, economics, politics and society, which affects above all the poorest who are "the least responsible for global warming”, but suffer the consequences most, because they do not have the opportunity to protect themselves. In the first place, therefore, a "new model of development" is needed that synergistically links the fight against climate change and the fight against poverty, "in harmony with the Church's social doctrine". (FP)

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