Coral Atlas

Nothing in this world is indifferent to us [3-6]

By:  Coral Atlas  •  NewsTalkers  •  8 years ago  •  4 comments

Nothing in this world is indifferent to us [3-6]

I have begun to publish sections and segments of the Popes letter on OUR network of blogs (NatuRedux.com) as well as on Linkedin & Quora & Newsvine & NewsTalkers 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 i s way past time to start paying attention to what we are all doing or allowing others to do.

3. More than fifty years ago, with the world teetering
on the brink of nuclear crisis, Pope Saint
John XXIII wrote an Encyclical which not only
rejected war but offered a proposal for peace. He
addressed his message Pacem in Terris to the entire
“Catholic world” and indeed “to all men and
women of good will”. Now, faced as we are with
global environmental deterioration, I wish to address
every person living on this planet.


the tree of life


In my Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, I wrote
to all the members of the Church with the aim
of encouraging ongoing missionary renewal. In
this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue
with all people about our common home.

4. In 1971, eight years after Pacem in Terris, Blessed
Pope Paul VI referred to the ecological concern
as “a tragic consequence” of unchecked human
activity: “Due to an ill-considered exploitation of
nature, humanity runs the risk of destroying it and
becoming in turn a victim of this degradation”. 2
He spoke in similar terms to the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations about
the potential for an “ecological catastrophe under
the effective explosion of industrial civilization”,
and stressed “the urgent need for a radical change

2 Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens (14 May 1971), 21:
AAS 63 (1971), 416-417.

in the conduct of humanity”, inasmuch as “the
most extraordinary scientific advances, the most
amazing technical abilities, the most astonishing
economic growth, unless they are accompanied
by authentic social and moral progress, will definitively
turn against man”. 3

3 Address to FAO on the 25th Anniversary of its Institution ( 16 November 1970) , 4: AAS 62 (1970), 833.

5. Saint John Paul II became increasingly concerned about this issue. In his first Encyclical he warned that human beings frequently seem “to see no other meaning in their natural environment than what serves for immediate use and consumption”. 4 Subsequently, he would call for a global ecological conversion. 5 At the same time, he noted that little effort had been made to “safeguard the moral conditions for an authentic human ecology”. 6 The destruction of the human environment is extremely serious, not only because God has entrusted the world to us men and women, but because human life is itself a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement. Every effort to protect and improve our world entails profound changes in “lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern

4 Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis (4 March 1979), 15: AAS 71 (1979), 287. 5 Cf. Catechesis (17 January 2001), 4: Insegnamenti 41/1 (2001), 179. 6 Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991), 38: AAS 83 (1991), 841.

societies”. 7 Authentic human development has a
moral character. It presumes full respect for the
human person, but it must also be concerned for
the world around us and “take into account the
nature of each being and of its mutual connection
in an ordered system”. 8 Accordingly, our human
ability to transform reality must proceed in
line with God’s original gift of all that is. 9

7 Ibid., 58: AAS 83 (1991), p. 863. 8 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (30
December 1987), 34: AAS 80 (1988), 559. 9 Cf. Id., Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991),
37: AAS 83 (1991), 840.

6. My predecessor Benedict XVI likewise proposed
“eliminating the structural causes of the
dysfunctions of the world economy and correcting
models of growth which have proved incapable
of ensuring respect for the environment”. 10
He observed that the world cannot be analyzed
by isolating only one of its aspects, since “the
book of nature is one and indivisible”, and includes
the environment, life, sexuality, the family,
social relations, and so forth. It follows that “the
deterioration of nature is closely connected to
the culture which shapes human coexistence”. 11
Pope Benedict asked us to recognize that the
natural environment has been gravely damaged
by our irresponsible behaviour. The social environment
has also suffered damage. Both are ultimately

10 Address to the Diplomatic Corps Accredited to the Holy See (8 January 2007): AAS 99 (2007), 73. 11 Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate (29 June 2009), 51:
AAS 101 (2009), 687.

due to the same evil: the notion that there
are no indisputable truths to guide our lives, and
hence human freedom is limitless. We have forgotten
that “man is not only a freedom which he
creates for himself. Man does not create himself.
He is spirit and will, but also nature”.12 With paternal
concern, Benedict urged us to realize that
creation is harmed “where we ourselves have the
final word, where everything is simply our property
and we use it for ourselves alone. The misuse
of creation begins when we no longer recognize
any higher instance than ourselves, when we see
nothing else but ourselves”. 13



jrBlog - desc
Coral Atlas
Freshman Silent
link   author  Coral Atlas    8 years ago

In chapters 3 - 6 there is much to deliberate upon.

Substitute human being for "man" lest we continue to make the mistake of genderizing for the sake of our personal religious beliefs.

Papa points out that human freedom is not limitless nor should we see nothing else but ourselves.

Nature is indivisible and humankind cannot create itself or recreate Nature.

It should be noted that although born and raised a catholic I am agnostic today



Dean Moriarty
Professor Quiet
link   Dean Moriarty  replied to  Coral Atlas   8 years ago

I'm not big on the concrete jungle myself. It's always nice to spend some time in the wild. 

Coral Atlas
Freshman Silent
link   author  Coral Atlas  replied to  Dean Moriarty   8 years ago

Thanks much Dean - unfortunately we all need to give this subject more thought rather than assume Nature is boundless and just extract resources without replenishment.Our appreciation is rarely manifested in changing what we continue to do wrong at the urging of those who promote want, waste and unbridled consumption.

This first step of appreciation is common, simple and actually selfish in many ways. Not many think about the waste & pollution that only benefits the capitalists who lay claim to the land, sea, lakes and forests. Natures beauty distracts us from the harsh reality of destructive human forces.

Appreciating that what we human beings extract from nature is enjoyable is common, however what escapes our attention is the inefficient use of natural resources promoted by the destroyers for personal gain.

Understanding what we must do to save nature from ourselves is lost in the me, me, me of everyday human life. Very little of natures bounty is efficiently processed by the popular economic doctrines and even worse is not distributed fairly amongst 7+ billion human beings. Those few who hoard the most profit care less and less about all else as their personal wealth grows. Self indulgence and over indulgence are epidemic and promoted by the corporate owned media worldwide.

All corporations should be non-profit and have public benefit initiatives as part of their bylaws. Conservation, environment, ecology and education should be embraced for the benefit of all life on earth including animals such as human beings(mammals).

There is no justification for income inequality as  natures resources are more than adequate to supply what is needed to all life on earth.. In fact theoretically there is no need for income or wealth since nature extracts no payment for sustaining life.

Those with the power are motivated by self gain and inefficiently harvesting natures bounty without replenishment as well as the talents of the less fortunate. As a species capable of morality we are not meeting the needs of all living organisms on earth. Under the present socioeconomic systems we are given little choice.

Homo sapiens has created the problems and we must solve them before it is to late. Once you read all of Laudato Si you realize it is a working blueprint for the salvation of earth. Such things as over population, pollution and need are easily solved but the willpower of humanity as a whole is sapped by the many socioeconomic containers that we are trapped within. These containers include nations and religions as well the failed economic doctrine of capitalism.

This Pope is breaking down the walls of the container of religion to point out the problems and provide solutions for all life on earth.

It is not about praying but about "doing" and about the survival of all life for mutual benefit rather than the few at the expense of the masses.

Coral Atlas
Freshman Silent
link   author  Coral Atlas    8 years ago

As you continue to read Laudato Si you realize quickly that it is not preaching but a frighteningly candid and accurate view of the state of our planet today. Fortunately papa francesco provides some simple yet extremely powerful solutions. It is up to each and all of us to comprehend what must be done immediately to avoid the end of life as we know it.