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L'Encyclical of Pope Francis by title "Laudato Yes”Was presented yesterday in the Vatican and, regardless of the faith of each of us, it carries a very strong environmental message.
After reading the 190 pages of the encyclical, I therefore decided to write this article to highlight the most relevant passages, sometimes adding some of my reflections and to make available to all the readers of IdeeGreen the full text of the encyclical, downloadable by clicking on this link. Obviously, the download is free and if you read the encyclical in electronic format, without printing it or without buying the book in paper version, you too will make a small contribution to protecting the environment.
L'encyclical of Pope Bergoglio begins by taking up the teachings of Saint Francis who praised the Lord (hence the title) for the beauty of the Earth, and then immediately went to the key point of the "denunciation" contained in this encyclical:
“This sister protests for the harm we cause her, due to the irresponsible use and abuse of the goods that God has placed in her. We grew up thinking that we were its owners and rulers, authorized to plunder it.”
The Pope goes on to recall the warnings that already another much loved Pope, Pope John Paul II, he had given to the faithful, inviting them to "global ecological conversion”And therefore those of his predecessor, Pope Benedict, who had guest to "correct growth models that seem unable to guarantee respect for the environment“.
Another important reference is to the words of the Patriarch (of the Orthodox church) Bartholomew, who had warned: "to the extent that we all cause small ecological damage", We are called to recognize"our contribution, small or large, to the disruption and destruction of the environment“.
The first chapter of the encyclical is entitled "What is happening in our home" and contains some important messages, including those that I highlight below.
A relevant one concern of Pope Francis is the one related to poor quantity and quality of water available to the poor with the many diseases and deaths that come with it. To this issue he dedicates subchapter II ofencyclical "Laudato Sì".
The sub-chapter III dedicated to the "Loss of biodiversity"And in particular I point out this passage:" the cost of damage caused by selfish neglect is far higher than the economic benefit that can be obtained. In the case of the loss or serious damage of some species, we are talking about values that exceed any calculation. "
In subchapter IV dedicated to deterioration of the quality of human life and social degradation, we can read the reference to "... "ecological debt", especially between the North and the South, connected to trade imbalances with ecological consequences, as well as to the disproportionate use of natural resources historically made by some countries.”
Pope francesco in subchapter VI of the encyclical he highlights "the weakness of the international political reaction"And adds that"the submission of politics to technology and finance is shown in the failure of the world summits on the environment. There are too many special interests and very easily the economic interest comes to prevail over the common good and to manipulate information so as not to see its projects affected.”
I also liked the message from the sub-chapter VI relating to "Diversity of opinion" on the problems of the Earth, where it clarifies that: "On many concrete issues, the Church has no reason to propose a definitive word and understands that she must listen and promote honest debate among scientists, respecting differences of opinion. However, it is enough to look at reality with sincerity to see that there is a great deterioration of our common home.”
Instead, I avoid commenting on everything chapter II titled "The Gospel of creation“, As it is too tied to the concept of faith, which is not a topic on which I think it is appropriate to discuss on our site.
The chapter III, entitled "The human root of the ecological crisis"Of which I would like to point out this interesting and undeniable passage:" modern man has not been educated in the correct use of power "..." because the immense technological growth has not been accompanied by a development of the human being as regards responsibility , values and conscience.”
In my opinion, this is one of the most important reflections of this encyclical which should stimulate us to cultivate our moral values and our social responsibility.
Also in Chapter III I point out: "Finance suffocates the real economy. The lesson of the global financial crisis has not been learned and the lesson of environmental deterioration is being learned very slowly. "
The Pope, again in Chapter III, also supports the positions of animal rights activists, stating that human power has limits and that "it is contrary to human dignity to make animals suffer unnecessarily and to dispose of their lives indiscriminately".
In the word "uselessly", however, I think I can interpret that the Pope does not want to condemn "in an integralist way" medical research that uses animals in order to find the cure for important human diseases but that he recommends doing everything possible to avoid any unnecessary suffering.
Pope francesco in his encyclical he also touches on the themes of "genetic manipulation"And" suspends "the judgment on GMOs writing: "It is difficult to make a general judgment on the development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), plants or animals, for medical purposes or in agriculture, since they can be very different from each other and require separate considerations. On the other hand, the risks are not always attributed to the technique itself, but to its inadequate or excessive application.”
Chapter IV is dedicated to the concept of "an integral ecology" that includes human and social dimensions.
I can only agree with the concepts expressed in this chapter: ecology is not "a sector in its own right" but is increasingly a philosophy of life, a culture that must consider the economic, financial and social dimensions, each with its own problems.
That the adjective does not mislead: we speak of "integral ecology" and not of "integralist ecology" which in my opinion is dangerous and harmful like all extremist positions, on the other hand.
In this chapter IV, do not miss the reading of sub-chapters IV, on the "Principle of the common good" is V. on the concept of "Justice between the generations“.
In chapter V Pope Francis provides "Some guidelines and guidelines for action" inviting us to think of "one world" and "a common project".
Many interesting reflections also in this chapter, among which I point out this passage: “The drama of a policy focused on immediate results, also supported by consumer populations, makes it necessary to produce growth in the short term. Responding to electoral interests, governments do not easily dare to irritate the population with measures that could affect the level of consumption or put foreign investments at risk. "
Unfortunately, the short-term view of political actions dictated by the need to maintain "the consensus of the electorate" and to avoid irritating powerful lobbies strongly connected with environmental problems is a long-standing question.
In the laxity of politics Pope francesco on the other hand, he praises initiatives that start "from below", such as "cooperatives for the exploitation of renewable energy that allow local self-sufficiency and even the sale of excess production“.
ThePontiff, in addition to thanking all those who do their utmost to create innovations aimed at protecting the environment, he goes so far as to indicate in chapter IV of his encyclical extremely practical advice, as in the passage in which he invites: "Avoid the use of plastic or paper material, reduce water consumption, separate waste, cook only when you can reasonably eat, treat other living beings with care, use public transport or share the same vehicle between various people, plant trees, turn off unnecessary lights, and so on“.
In the last chapter of the encyclical, "Ecological education and spirituality", Pope Francis recommends a real "ecological conversion", which passes through an examination of our current behavior in relation to the themes treated in the previous chapters and then moves on to a " reaction ”and the implementation of virtuous behaviors capable of bringing joy and peace.
At the end of my reading, I found Pope Francis’s encyclical decidedly rich in ideas and good principles which, if accepted, could have an incredibly positive significance. I therefore recommend that you download the full text and read it - I repeat - regardless of whether you are believers or non-believers: I am sure you will be surprised!
To visually illustrate the encyclical "Laudato Yes” of Pope Francis the Vatican has also made this beautiful video, which superimposes some significant reflections on the images. Good vision!