In Genesis the first humans are given responsibility for caring for creation, but despite this it hasn’t always been a strong theme of Christian thinking over the last 2000 years. Care for creation is even a latecomer to Catholic Social Teaching. Now the world’s resources grow scarcer, caring responsibly for creation is being considered more of a way to ensure respect for human dignity and peace than an end in itself.
Creation provides us with the physical fabric of our lives; the natural environment gives us the stuff we use every day. It gives us the food for our tables, the material for our clothes and the materials to build our houses and churches. It is also a place where people have experienced a great closeness with God through its beauty and wonder. Creation is a gift from God and provides us with these things, the basics for our lives, yet it can so easily and so often be taken for granted.
Modern technology has given us a huge amount of benefits that have helped alleviate suffering and create new methods of solidarity among people. At the same time we can also see how it has made it easier for us to become alienated from our environment, and it's given new and efficient ways to plunder the worlds natural resources en masse. Care for Creation ensures that we don’t neglect, but protect and respect the gift that is our natural environment.
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Care for Creation Quotes
"Perhaps reluctantly we come to acknowledge that there are also scars which mark the surface of our earth: erosion, deforestation, the squandering of the world’s mineral and ocean resources in order to fuel an insatiable consumption. Some of you come from island nations whose very existence is threatened by rising water levels; others from nations suffering the effects of devastating drought. God’s wondrous creation is sometimes experienced as almost hostile to its stewards, even something dangerous. How can what is “good” appear so threatening?"
Pope Benedict XVI, World Youth Day 2008
"Take good care of creation. St. Francis wanted that. People occasionally forgive, but nature never does. If we don’t take care of the environment, there’s no way of getting around it."
"The ecological crisis shows the urgency of a solidarity which embraces time and space… A greater sense of intergenerational solidarity is urgently needed. Future generations cannot be saddled with the cost of our use of common environmental resources."
Pope Benedict XVI, World Peace Day Message 2010
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