El Mensajero (English)

Posted: September 29, 2011

Jesuits urged to pray, think, act to promote ecological responsibility

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- Jesuit communities around the world have been asked to make their buildings more energy efficient, help the farmers they work with use sustainable agricultural practices and launch programs in their universities to promote both theological reflection and scientific research on protecting the environment.

A 68-page special report on ecology, ?Healing a Broken World,? was published in mid-September by the Jesuit headquarters in Rome.

The report called on Jesuits and their collaborators to confront their own resistance and ?cast a grateful look on creation, letting our heart be touched by its wounded reality and making a strong personal and communal commitment to healing it.?

Written by an international task force of five Jesuits and a laywoman, the report called for biblical and spiritual reflection on the gift of creation and an understanding of environmental protection as a justice issue, since it is the poor who suffer first and most severely from the destruction of environment.

People have allowed technology and rationality to dominate the way they look at the physical world, ?blunting our sensitivity to the mystery, diversity and vastness of life and the universe,? it said.

The ecological crisis must be seen as a challenge to faith, the report said. ?It is the very dream of God as creator that is threatened. It is the entire world, the one God put in the hands of humankind to keep and preserve, which is in real danger of destruction.?

The over-use of fossil fuels and the creation of greenhouse gases, the waste or pollution of waters, deforestation, polluting the ground with chemicals and the growing pressure put on environment by increasing populations are issues that must be recognized and dealt with from a position of faith, personal responsibility and science, it said.

Restoring a right or just relationship with God, with creation and with other people is not simply a matter of personal prayer and appreciation, it requires a real change in the way one lives, the report said.

Religious communities may not have the technical know-how and resources to reverse pollution and clean up the environment, but they do espouse the moral values that are need to promote new relationships with the world God created and with the poor who experience hunger, drought, landslides and flooding because of environmental destruction, the Jesuits said.

Copyright 2011 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved. This article may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
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