The Catholic Church And Care Of The Earth
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Catholic Church and care of earth
Religion is the main source of guidance for an individual and this fact becomes more evident that all the codes of life, how a person should live are taught by the religion. Catholic Church is much concerned with taking care of the mother earth. Taking care of the thing that is nurturing you becomes the topmost priority of an individual. Catholic Church is more conscious about its responsibility that we all have to take care of the earth created by Creator for us. A place that is created for all of us must be loved and protected by all as well.
There are many theological scholars and researchers who are studying, why there is a need to take care of the earth? They are more concerned with the question that why the Catholic Church emphasizes more on the point that mother earth should be protected from all the damages and should be treated with love (Gerten,Dieter,et,al,2018). According to Celia Deane-Drummond, “Good Catholic theology always has the earth in mind”. There are many other theologians who believe, creation care is good theology. According to the Catholic belief, it could be said that taking care of mother earth is not just a marginal extra rather it's an integral part of belief to think about what humans should do and who humans are.
Deane-Drummond in his research claims that accepting environmental justice is an intrinsic part of the faith of any religious person. Faith is one of the most important things for understanding and resolving our present environmental crisis. Being living on the earth, for human’s earth is the central entity about which they must show concerns. One of the basic believes of theologians is, undoubtedly science can tell you about all the wrongdoings but it cannot motivate people to make the situation change by putting efforts and religion is the only thing that could motivate them. This conception has been emphasized more by Catholic Church and they are making people more aware that it is their responsibility to take of the earth that has been created for them by the Divine.
The act of taking care of earth would be loved by God as well and this claim has been proven right by the Catholic Church as they pointed and quoted a the verse from the book of Genesis 1:31 we are told “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good". Creation of earth was for mankind so that they could enjoy all the good things that would facilitate their lives. Many of the religious leaders are teaching people that the earth is created for them and they are the ones who are responsible for its care.
Pope Francis clarified that although Christians many times misinterpreted the Scriptures, he emphasized that people must forcefully reject the idea that earth is created for them so they have been given the absolute domination over everything. Pope Francis makes these things clear by his message over the care of the creation that humans need to cultivate, care, protect and preserve earth which implies a mutual relationship of responsibility between human beings and nature. “Each community can take from the bounty of the earth whatever it needs for subsistence but it also has the duty to protect the earth and to ensure its fruitfulness for the coming generations.”
Catholic Church claims that in the book of Genesis, humans are given the responsibility to take care of the earth, but also this thing has become the strongest theme in Christianity, over the last 2000 years. Catholic Church has cleared its position by taking a look at the religious teachings that have been given in the Bible, though this fact cannot be denied that Catholic Social Teaching, was a latecomer (Peñaloza-Farfan,et,al,2019). God created the earth and He called it good, so the Catholic Church teaches that if a thing is good enough for God, it ought to be good enough for the humans as well, if a thing is good for both it must be protected. Catholic Church teaches mankind about the care of creation by reminding them about the Scriptures that it is the prime responsibility of mankind for which they are answerable. They would be asked that how they treated earth. Catholic Church reminds people that they are the stewards of the gifts of the creation of the Creator; we must not behave like the exploiters who use and abuse earth as they want.
Catholic Church is leaded by Pope Francis who is the religious leader for the catholic followers and teaches people how they have to play their part for caring the earth. One of the most important challenges that the Catholic Church is facing is that though Pope Francis is favoring the situation by teaching people about care of creation (Campbell,et,al,2018). This fact cannot be denied that still there are many concerns and challenges that the Catholic Church is facing in case of protection and care of earth. It could be seen that Pope Francis is finding it difficult to reach new conclusions for calling out the moral and spiritual transformation our connection to the earth.
Pope Jon Paul II and the retired Pope Benedict have also emphasized on taking care of the earth. In studies, researches and theologians have claimed that taking care of the things that have been made for us is the fundamental part of our faith. Whenever there is a thing or question about the creation of earth from a religious point of view, it could be seen from the biblical verses, that there is a special emphasis on the way how it should be treated. The Catholic Church also teaches its followers that they have to be courteous with the earth that nurtures them, gives them land and food.
One of the main challenge that is faced by the Catholic Church is that most of the Christians misunderstood this thing that earth has been created for the humans so they considered that they are being given the permission that they could do whatever they want to do with it (Repenshek,et,al,2019). By looking at the teachings of Bible, it could be seen that earth should be protected. By taking a look at verses in Bible, humans could realize the importance of the care of the earth,
“You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it.”
Catholic Church teaches its followers that they have to take care of the mother earth; it is one of the seven tenants of Catholic Social Teaching. Catholic Church is focusing more by taking in account the present environmental crisis that being Christians, it is the part of our faith to take care of the earth that God created in just seven days for comforting humans. By taking a look at various researches, it won't be wrong to say that Catholic Church believes that earth is a gift of God as He said in a verse,
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it”
Catholic Church has made their position clear by following this verse from the book of Genesis that God has created this earth for humans and commanded them to take care of it.
Campbell, Simone. "Catholic Social Justice and NETWORK’s Political Ministry." Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice 1.1 (2018): 17-28.
Gerten, Dieter, Martin Schönfeld, and Bernhard Schauberger. "On deeper human dimensions in Earth system analysis and modelling." Earth System Dynamics 9.2 (2018): 849-863.
Peñaloza-Farfan, Lady Johanna, Hans Suleiman Sanabria-Gomez, and Alberto Paucar-Caceres. "A Model for Integrating Spirituality in Social Development in Latin America: Exploring Pope Francis Encyclical Letter Laudato Si (On Care for Our Common Home), the Ecology of Liberation and the Ancestral Wisdom of the South American People." Sustainability and the Humanities. Springer, Cham, 2019. 539-560.
Repenshek, Mark, and Leslie Schmidt. "Catholic Moral Teaching and Tradition on Advance Care Planning." Palliative Care and Catholic Health Care. Springer, Cham, 2019. 209-222.
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