VII. A variety of opinions [60-61]




I have begun to publish sections and segments of the Popes letter on OUR network of blogs as well as on Linkedin & Quora & Newsvine and will add my comments over time. Pappa francescos 180 page letter is much less about religion than it is about nature and the planet earth. He proposes some fairly radical yet simple and understandable solutions for humankind. It is way past time to start paying attention to what we are all doing or allowing others to do.

60. Finally, we need to acknowledge that different
approaches and lines of thought have
emerged regarding this situation and its possible
solutions. At one extreme, we find those who
doggedly uphold the myth of progress and tell
us that ecological problems will solve themselves
simply with the application of new technology
and without any need for ethical considerations
or deep change. At the other extreme are those
who view men and women and all their interventions
as no more than a threat, jeopardizing
the global ecosystem, and consequently the presence
of human beings on the planet should be
reduced and all forms of intervention prohibited.
Viable future scenarios will have to be generated
between these extremes, since there is no
one path to a solution. This makes a variety of
proposals possible, all capable of entering into
dialogue with a view to developing comprehensive
solutions.

61. On many concrete questions, the Church
has no reason to offer a definitive opinion; she
knows that honest debate must be encouraged
among experts, while respecting divergent views.
But we need only take a frank look at the facts
to see that our common home is falling into serious
disrepair. Hope would have us recognize that
there is always a way out, that we can always redirect
our steps, that we can always do something
to solve our problems. Still, we can see signs that
things are now reaching a breaking point, due to
the rapid pace of change and degradation; these
are evident in large-scale natural disasters as well
as social and even financial crises, for the world’s
problems cannot be analyzed or explained in isolation.
There are regions now at high risk and,
aside from all doomsday predictions, the present
world system is certainly unsustainable from a
number of points of view, for we have stopped
thinking about the goals of human activity. “If
we scan the regions of our planet, we immediately
see that humanity has disappointed God’s
expectations”.35

35 Id., Catechesis (17 January 2001), 3: Insegnamenti 24/1
(2001), 178.

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