June 19, 2015, 4:05 p.m. – POPE Francis is urging the
faithful to combat a “structurally perverse” economic system that has turned
the earth into an “immense pile of filth.”

Caring for nature means respecting human ecology—the
sacredness of human life, the family, and the male-female dichotomy, the Pope
also said.

In his encyclical titled “Laudato Si’” published Thursday,
the Pope blamed consumerism, human exploitation, and a “throwaway culture” as
causes of the deterioration of our “common home.”

“The human environment and the natural environment
deteriorate together. We cannot adequately combat environmental degradation
unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation,” said the
Pontiff in his 184-page encyclical, adding that these major challenges
victimize mostly the poor who are often “disregarded.”

Efforts to solve the environmental crisis are hindered by
powerful opposition, weak responses, and a “general lack of interest,” he

The Pontiff appealed in turn for new dialogue on how
humanity could shape the future of the planet. “All of us can cooperate as
instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own
culture, experience, involvements and talents,” said Pope Francis.

The Holy Father voiced his dismay over attacks against human
life such as abortion, noting that respect for human dignity goes hand in hand
with safeguarding the environment.

“It is clearly inconsistent to combat trafficking in
endangered species while remaining completely indifferent to human trafficking,
unconcerned about the poor, or undertaking to destroy another human being deemed
unwanted,” the Pontiff said.

Pope appoints Thomasian prelate as Vatican ambassador to UN

Moreover, respect for nature means respecting human ecology,
meaning respect for the family and “valuing one’s own body in its
femininity or masculinity.”

“In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts
of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual
enrichment. It is not a healthy attitude which would seek ‘to cancel out sexual
difference because it no longer knows how to confront it,'” the Pope said.

Laudato Si’, which means “praise be to you,” was taken from
St. Francis of Assisi’s medieval Italian prayer “Canticle of the Sun,” which
praises God through elements of creation. Laudato Si’ is Pope Francis’ second
encyclical. His first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei,” was released in June 2013.

The new papal document is the first encyclical to focus on
environmental issues, but not the first time a pope raised the issue of
environment degradation.

Pope Paul VI in 1971 described the destruction of the
environment as a “tragic consequence” of uncontrolled human activity. Pope St.
John Paul II’s 1979 encylical “Redemptor Hominis (The Redeemer of
” and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s address to the Diplomatic Corps in
also slammed humanity’s abuse of nature. Angeli Mae S. Cantillana


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.