Ahead of the publication of Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment, experts reflect on the history and significance of the church's role in promoting the stewardship of creation.
Theologian-Philosopher, Earthcharter Commission
Every country, especially those that are experiencing financial crises, such as Brazil in 2015, has a persistent obsession: we have to grow; we must assure the growth of the GNP, namely, the sum of all the wealth produced by the country. This economic growth is fundamentally the production of material goods. It causes a high degree of social inequity (unemployment and reduction of salaries) and a perverse environmental devastation (exhaustion of the ecosystems).
In reality, we should first talk about the kind of development that entails essential non-material elements, principally such subjective and humanistic dimensions as the expansion of liberty, creativity and ways of shaping life itself. Unfortunately we are all hostages of the mirage that is growth. Long ago the balance between growth and the preservation of nature was destroyed, in favor of growth. Consumption is already 40% above the planet's capacity to replace its goods and services. And the planet is losing her sustainability.
Now here's reflection from John Chuchman that might question one of your core Christian beliefs: Is Hope over-rated? It's difficult to know if John is being a bit tongue-in-cheek with this one or deadly serious. It is a reflection that is almost guaranteed to cause you to think.
Hope is Overrated
I'm giving up on Hope.
I have dumped despair,
so I really do not need its struggling opposite,
it seems Hope was simply
a diversionary tactic
that kept me from truly looking at
the causes for despair.
Hope was dangerous
It was defeatist,
relinquishing my responsibility
to speak out and act against
what is wrong.
Hope allowed me to be passive.
Hope required no talent,
not much thinking,
and no expression of
My True Self.
Hope tricked me,
absolving me of Responsibility.
Ben Franklin had it right,
Live in Hope and you'll die fasting.
I refuse to be addicted.
The upshot of last year’s first meeting of the Family synod was a document telling the bishops to go back, find out about, and report back to the next meeting on a wide range of issues: on the church’s whole approach to families and modern family life.
Now is your chance to have your say!
Today, A Call To Action is launching its online questionnaire from its website www.acalltoaction.org.uk to help the widest possible group of lay people and clergy to take part. You can also find reflections and workshop materials there, and a downloadable version of the questionnaire.
This is a fantastic opportunity to share and help the church get the information it needs for the synod. We want a full, meaningful, and relevant consultation, which is why we’ve made these documents both accessible and easy to complete.
Please complete the questionnaire. You will need to Login in order to complete. The survey is anonymous. Please read the pdf version of the Questionnaire do you can prepare yourself when completing. You can even copy and paste your answers into the online Questionnaire. The Save button will save what you have done on the page. It does not allow you to go back and complete at a later date. It has to be done in one 'sitting'.
Organise workshops. Encourage your friends to do the same. Let fellow parishioners know about it. Spread the word!
The closing date for the online questionnaire is 16th April.
The ACTA Leadership Team