Neo-hippies, eco-types and flower eaters

For a Christian, nature is part of that legacy that God has left in our hands to work it, not to destroy it.

November 3, 2021-Reading time: 3 minutes

There are those who say, without batting an eyelid, that the Church "has taken to ecological fashion", that she only speaks of "recycling and planting trees" and that she has forgotten that her mission in the world is to be "the sacrament of salvation, the sign and instrument of communion with God and among men" (CEC 780).

The defense of the planet, as God's creation and the framework for the development of the life of God's children, and therefore also of communion with their Creator, acquires its own meaning in the Christian's life, even more so if we consider it as part of charity towards one's neighbor and oneself.

A healthy integral ecology is one that respects all life, from its beginning to its end, and helps the realization of the purpose for which it was created. It is ecology to defend life and so is not throwing food in the garbage, avoiding the contamination of a river or not mistreating animals. And the most important thing: they are neither contradictory to each other, nor eliminatory... what does not make sense is to shout slogans against chops and to eliminate a life born in the womb. What is contradictory, indeed, is to ask for the taxation of raw materials from a private jet?

When the Church speaks of defending the planet, it does not have in its mind the creation of a parallel pseudo-religion, practiced by a kind of neo-hippies, eco-subjects and flower-eaters who replace God, his worship and his quest, with a meadow of singing daisies. For a Christian, nature is part of that legacy that God has left in our hands to work it, not to destroy it. Certainly, extremes, in any sense, are never desirable, and to make ecologism a religion is a reductionist and absurd distortion of a task that, well lived, falls within the basic Christian virtues of charity, "Christian poverty", respect for others and above all, love for God, owner of the universe.

It was not in vain that St. John Paul II described in Solicitudo Rei socialis In addition to ecological concern as one of the "positive signs of the present", there is also a growing awareness of the limited resources available, the need to respect the integrity and rhythms of nature and to take them into account in development planning, instead of sacrificing it to certain demagogic conceptions of development. This is what is known today as ecological concern.

There are those who have decided to draw a dividing line between the guardians of a supposed orthodoxy of the Catholic faith and those who have "sold out" to the Woke discourse. Perhaps because of the complexities that this topic always entails, I have found two readings signed by professor Emilio Chuvieco (one of them together with Lorenzo Gallo) in this same portal.

Caring for our planet and the beings that inhabit it is not just a matter of "responding to a crisis, but above all of redirecting the values that guide our society, of generating a model of progress that places human beings at the center" with that human ecology that implies applying to our nature the profound respect that is also due to the environment. "Respect for creation, respect for others, respect for oneself and respect for the Creator" was the Pope's definition at the meeting "Faith and Science: towards COP26", promoted by the Embassies of Great Britain and Italy together with the Holy See.

No, it is not a matter of a pro-green occurrence with no other basis than shouting more or less green slogans while recording them with a last generation cell phone. It is a real commitment, rooted in our own awareness of the created being and of the Christian virtues that lead our lives naturally towards God.

The authorMaria José Atienza

Editor-in-Chief at Omnes. Degree in Communication, with more than 15 years of experience in Church communication. She has collaborated in media such as COPE or RNE.

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