Many people have not yet understood the profound meaning of the Encyclical Letter Praised be. Some people continue to criticize, obviously without having even read it, and give improper definitions of what it is. Unfortunately, this extraordinary letter is anything but an “encyclical letter of ecology”, but the heartfelt cry of hope for those who love life, the creation, and being more than anything else.
The strong appeal to the responsibility of the Man who is an Administrator, not an owner of the earth, is certainly the most important admonition that challenges all the consciences, beyond people’s religious affiliation. “What kind of world do we want to pass down to those who come after us, to the children who are growing up?” The question posed by Pope Francis shows the right and dutiful sensitivity of the Church to environmental issues as not disembodied or dissociate from coexistence.
Since the very beginning of his pontificate, the Holy Father has shown great attention to “our common home”, reiterating the importance of an integral ecology of simple everyday actions, in which you break the tragic cycle of violence, exploitation, and indifference.
Beisdes, the Pontiff wanted to set up the World Day for the Care of the Creation last year, staring right on 1 September, time of prayer for Christian unity and communion celebrated together with the Orthodox. Since spirituality, according to Pope Bergoglio, is not separate from nature, but rather lives in communion with it, we need a real “ecological conversion” of the Christians and all other people of good will.
The defense of the creation and of the environment – considered also in its human and social dimensions – and reducing inequalities are essential and intimately connected aspects. In this context, the destruction of the ecosystem encourages the culture of waste, the logic of “disposable” things, which spares nothing and no one. This process produces, even in the West, different types of poverty that afflict too many people, and a growing number of families, in addition to threatening the lives of single and elderly people.
To remain silent in the face of these injustices means to side with the powerful and with the bullies, who only think about profiting as much as possible and immediately, according to the mechanisms of ruthless economy. Social inequalities can be fought through solidarity, involvement, listening and reception of the last, clearly understanding that the basic principle is always the dignity of human beings.
Moreover, awareness of the crucial responsibility that the entire community has towards the creation requires a radical change of the human heart and mind, such as stop thinking that our daily actions have no impact on the lives of other people, and act in view of global growth concerned about human beings before convenience and all political and ideological divisions. Only in this case we will be able to live in harmony with nature and to put in place a genuine work of restitution to the poor countries, overcoming the selfishness of the rich West.