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Care for Creation

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We are responsible as trustees and stewards of the gifts of the earth and of our environment. The goods of earth are God’s gifts for all. The way we treat the earth, the environment and creatures reflects respect for the Creator.

As we have seen, the created world reveals much about the goodness and beauty of the Creator. The creation stories of the Book of Genesis reflect this. Many Psalms, the Book of Wisdom, and other biblical writings celebrate and praise God’s work in the world. The created environment provides for the needs of all inter-dependant creatures, including human beings. Modern science is discovering more about the complex, wonderful and delicately balanced ecosystems of every natural landscape.

Catholic Social Justice teaching recognises that earth’s resources belong to all.  During his 1986 visit to Australia, Pope John Paul II commended Australia’s indigenous peoples on traditional ways of using earth’s resources, whilst caring for the environment. In his 1990 ‘World Day of Peace Message’, Pope John Paul II stated that care for God’s creation is a moral obligation that involves us all. World peace requires justice, respect and care for the created world and sharing of earth’s resources. As his theme for his message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace 2010, Pope Benedict XVI chose, ‘If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation.’ The Australian Bishops’ 2002 Social Justice statement, “A new earth: the Environmental Challenge,” provides helpful education and guidelines for Australians.

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Pope John Paul II, Peace with God the Creator: Peace with all Creation, 1990: access through: Click here to view

Pope Benedict XVI, Message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, 1 January 2010: access through Click here to view

A New Earth: The Environmental Challenge, 2002 Social Justice Sunday Statement from the Australian Bishops, follow the Social Justice Sunday statements links in: Click here to view

The Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Conservation Centre: Click here to view

Catholic Earthcare Australia: This site includes materials for liturgy and worship: Click here to view

Ecumenical Action Kit on Sustainability: This kit may be accessed through the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council website: Click here to view

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(Paragraph numbers for the Catechism are shown - Click the Nos section to view)
RESPECT FOR THE INTEGRITY OF CREATION
Nos 2415 – 2418

 ‘The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator.’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church No 341)

When he listens to the message of creation and to the voice of conscience, man can arrive at certainty about the existence of God, the cause and the end of everything. (Catechism of the Catholic Church no 46)

The Church teaches that the one true God, our Creator and Lord, can be known with certainty from his works, by the natural light of human reason (Catechism of the Catholic Church No  47)

The natural law is a participation in God's wisdom and goodness by man formed in the image of his Creator. It expresses the dignity of the human person and forms the basis of his fundamental rights and duties. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1978)

The natural law ...is a necessary foundation for the erection of moral rules and civil law. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1979)

“Seeking the work of God’s law throughout the natural world, Thomas claimed that reason would be led to contemplating God in nature……..so human morality is neither simply a matter of freedom nor the outcome of our animal natures, but depends on the God given nature of human beings. Morality like nature depends on natural law, moral principles instilled in us and discoverable through reason….nevertheless [there are] limits to reason.  Revelation is also necessary, he argued, for insight into the divine realm of God in heaven.”  [A Passion for Wisdom: A Brief History of Philosophy, R. C. Solomon and K.M. Higgins]

Caroline Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics  Bulletin Click here to view

Queensland Bioethics Centre Click here to view

Southern Cross Bioethics Institute Click here to view

Beliefs, Morality, Practices: Catholic Enquiry Centre  Click here to view

Natural Law: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos 1950 – 1960, 1978 – 1986


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