Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
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French cardinal: ecology is a ‘question of life and death’

November 25, 2015

In a homily preached a week before the beginning of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois warned against two ecological temptations.

The first temptation is “to dream of an idyllic universe” without mankind, he preached on November 22 at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. “This is an earthly paradise without men. It is ecology against humanity, in other words a vision of the human being as an intruder and a destroyer.”

The second temptation, Cardinal Vingt-Trois continued, is a “partial ecology” in which we make better use of resources in order to “safeguard our way of life” and to “ensure that our prosperity will continue.”

Referring to Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’, Cardinal Vingt-Trois called ecology “a global project of life that must reach all sectors of human existence … Ecology is not a decorative luxury for developed societies, it is a question of life and death. It is a question of life and death for which we are called to revise our manner of living.”

Ecology should take into account “not only our business, our interests, our hopes, our ideologies,” but also “the totality of the universe of which Christ is the center,” he added.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 25, 2015 8:36 AM ET USA

    Science and technology to the rescue. "Ecology should take into account...'the totality of the universe of which Christ is the center.'" Correct. It's a good thing there is a God. We find that He created a universe teeming with the resources needed to live life abundantly: from the water everywhere (in cosmic dust particles, in moons and comets in the solar system, etc.) to economic minerals in asteroids to natural gas on Saturn's moon Titan. The only thing lacking is the will to claim them.