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Influences of Catholic Teachings

Catholic Teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the most fundamental summary of our Catholic doctrine used for teachings. Although there are no “rules” or “guidelines” directed specifically towards humans contribution to ozone depletion, numerous, much more broader regulations may be applied. Caring for God’s creation is one of eight major themes of Catholic social teaching. It is obvious that we, as humans are not following the Plan and order of God as we have pushed the natural world beyond its carrying capacity. Everything is connected in a more elaborate web than what we might initially suspect. Small, and seemingly insignificant actions may ultimately have a devastating impact on the world we live in.

Firstly, it is important that humans begin to think about situacatechism.jpgtions with an open mind and communally as oppose to individually. Our selfish desires in the decision-making process has forced individuals to make choices based on what’s right for the self despite what its manifestations are for their own society. For instance, when large corporations feel that it is necessary to produce their CFC-infested hairspray, even when they are well aware of the dire consequences it has on the environment. If these people began to think about the needs of the society or community as a whole, their priorities would change, and thus, a decision would be made based on the benefit of the world.

2224 The home is the natural environment for initiating a human being into solidarity and communal responsibilities. Parents should teach children to avoid the compromising and degrading influences which threaten human societies.

The Earth, along with all its inanimate and animate objects are all creations of God, and thus, must be respected. God created humans especially to be dominant over other creatures, however, that is not to say we have the right to do whatever we wish with these organisms, nor does it say that God loves humans more. A creation of God must be treated with reverence and integrity; we must be concerned for it’s well being as they too are promised a good life. Furthermore, God created this Earth, for all people including all generations, and it is our responsibility to preserve it during our time on this planet. This requires treating our planet with respect by not producing certain manufactured goods that may result in the production of harmful toxins such as CFC, chlorine or bromine.

2415 The seventh commandment [thou shalt not steal] enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of past, present, and future humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.

2416 Animals are God's creatures. He surrounds them with his providential care. By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory. Thus men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.

From the beginning, God created the earth including the sun, moon, water, animals, humans…etc. Nothing in this world can be attributed to anyone except God our creator. Everything that God created is a glimpse into his love and goodness. Therefore, disrespecting any part of his creation is disrespecting God, and his love for us. We as humans, must thank God everyday for all that he has given us, not show our disapproval over what he has made by acting in a selfish manner without taking into consideration God’s other creations in this world.

337 God himself created the visible world in all its richness, diversity and order. Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine "work", concluded by the "rest" of the seventh day.204 On the subject of creation, the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation,205 permitting us to "recognize the inner nature, the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God."206

338 Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator. The world began when God's word drew it out of nothingness; all existent beings, all of nature, and all human history are rooted in this primordial event, the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time begun.207

339 Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection. For each one of the works of the "six days" it is said: "And God saw that it was good." "By the very nature of creation, material being is endowed with its own stability, truth and excellence, its own order and laws."208 Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God's infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment.

Although as humans, we may feel dominant over many other organisms, we were not created all-powerful: we are dependant upon other organisms. For instance, without plants we would have insufficient supply of oxygen, and without animals, we would have no source of meat (protein) for our bodies to function properly. With that in mind, it is unfair for us as humans to treat these creatures with so little care. By destroying the environment, we are simultaneously threatening their lives as well. Instead, God intended for all creatures to work together in sustaining the world we live.

340 God wills the interdependence of creatures. The sun and the moon, the cedar and the little flower, the eagle and the sparrow: the spectacle of their countless diversities and inequalities tells us that no creature is self-sufficient. Creatures exist only in dependence on each other, to complete each other, in the service of each other.

The sheer beauty of God’s creation that is our universe, should be reason enough to show some ounce of respect and esteem. We, as human beings owe so much to the creation of this world including our lives and relationships that we must in turn, put some effort into maintaining this wonderful creation. It is our responsibility to use the talents, determination and intellect God has given us to sustain this universe.

hands_on_globe.jpg341 The beauty of the universe: The order and harmony of the created world results from the diversity of beings and form the relationships which exist among them. Man discovers them progressively as the laws of nature. They call forth the admiration of scholars. The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man's intellect and will.

346 In creation God laid a foundation and established laws that remain firm, on which the believer can rely with confidence, for they are the sign and pledge of the unshakeable faithfulness of God's covenant.214 For his part man must remain faithful to this foundation, and respect the laws which the Creator has written into it.

Jesus’ sacrifice for his people shows that great good can only come from the self-giving of oneself to another or his/her community. As Catholics, it is not enough to simply sustain the Earth, and make sure that it is livable for many generations to come. It is also our duty to make this world a “better place” full of love and faith. This may only be achieved if we, like Jesus dedicate a part of ourselves to making this come true with selfless acts of love and kindness.

349 The eighth day. But for us a new day has dawned: the day of Christ's Resurrection. The seventh day completes the first creation. The eighth day begins the new creation. Thus, the work of creation culminates in the greater work of redemption. The first creation finds its meaning and its summit in the new creation in Christ, the splendor of which surpasses that of the first creation.217

Moral Responsibility (Collective Teachings)

The world that God created is his home, and has been entrusted to us. Therefore, our use of it must be directed by God's plan for creation, not simply for our own benefit. We show our respect for the pope_john_paul.jpgCreator by our care for creation. In times of scientific discovery, ever-developing technology and urbanization, our society has become estranged from the natural scale of life on earth. Fortunately, the environmental movement that is currently taking place has reawakened the appreciation of the fundamental truth, that it is only with living in harmony with the gifts of nature can humans encounter the Good that is God. In the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops to honor St. Francis of Assisi (the patron saint of ecology), it was stated that " to enter into ever-deeper relationship with God – this “Lover of Life” – entails striving to develop right relations with nature and with other human beings." The late Pope John Paul II has called for all Catholics to respect and protect the environment so as to better “contemplate the mystery of the greatness and love of God.”

It is important to understand that holding reverence for the Creator is only true if one holds reverence for the Creator’s design of the earth. Therefore, showing respect for every plant, animal, mountain and ocean serves as a ground work for becoming an environmentally responsible individual. The “Lord are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it" (Ps 24:1). By dwelling in the presence of God our Creator, we start to experience ourselves as part of this amazing creation, as stewards within it, not separate from it. This means that we must not only care for creation, but develop innovative ideas to improve this creation—make it flourish. This balancing act requires great effort as it expects of us both a sense of limits and at the same time, a spirit of experimentation.

The foundation of all our beliefs is simple: we must show respect as this respect for nature and the environment is directly linked to respect for the human life. Pope John Paul II wrote that "Respect for life, and above all for the dignity of the human person,". This idea is further emphasized in the book of Genesis whereby God reestablishes aquinas.jpghis covenant with us through his creations. “See, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you: all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals that were with you and came out of the ark. (Gn 9: 9-10)”. By exploring and embracing the natural world around us, we are taking steps closer to God and his love. "God’s glory is revealed in the natural world, yet we humans are presently destroying creation. In this light, the ecological crisis is also a profoundly religious crisis. In destroying creation we are limiting our ability to know and love God." (Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops).

God’s creations are all unique in their individual aspect. Collectively, they possess what is called the divine beauty. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the divine goodness could not be represented by one lone creature, and God produced “many and diverse creatures, so that what was wanting to one in representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another…hence the whole universe together participates in the divine goodness more perfectly, and represents it better than any single creature”. This variety is all apart of God’s divine plan, and thus deserves our respect. Therefore, we must treat all creatures as God’s creatures who all have independent worth and deserve love. As a whole, the world including all it's creations are linked in some way with God and bound together. According to the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops, "Creation and the redemptive Incarnation of the Son of God are inextricably linked. Through his Incarnation, Jesus Christ not only entered and embraced our humanity; he also entered and embraced all of God’s creation. Thus all creatures, great and small, are consecrated in the life, death and resurrection of Christ."

It is essential that the church realizes it is important for the Catholic community to take responsibility of what is happening in our Creator's world. Furthermore, it is our duty to protect and sustain this world for the future generations as this is a gift from God to all of man. "The churches cannot remain indifferent to the increasing destructive effects of human interference on the integrity of the natural world. Those who recognise God as Creator will stand up for the preservation of life as created by God," says the closing statement of the England Catholic Conference of Bishops. Archbishop Kelly, who will now consider the way forward in consultation with the Bishops’ Conference, said: “Christians have an obligation to care, not just for other human beings, but for the earth itself. Their responsibility within creation and their duty towards nature and the Creator are an essential part of their faith. It is a sad fact but, as the Holy Father has said, Man is no longer the Creator’s steward, but has turned into an autonomous despot who is finally beginning to understand that he must stop at the edge of the abyss."

pope_john.jpgAs a whole, we along with our whole universe is part of the divine good. Separating ourselves poses a problem, as seen by Pope John XXIII in 1964 where he emphasized problems emerging from the world’s growing dependence. Ecological and environmental concern has now heightened our awareness of just how interdependent our world is. Some of the gravest environmental problems are clearly global. In this shrinking world, everyone is affected and everyone is responsible, although those most responsible are often the least affected. It is essential that we think of the needs of others also as we develop altruistic attitudes.

In the Environment hearing of the Florida Catholic Conference , Bishop Thomas G. Wenski, said that three themes from Catholic social teaching inform the topic of ozone depletion, climate change and other environmental issues: priority for the poor, pursjohn_paul_and_dove.jpguit of the common good, and practice of prudence. It is essential to understand that the poor will suffer the most from the effects of environmental damage, and thus, humans needs to make sure the needs of the poor are not forgotten. Passing on the gift of creation to future generations, without doing irreversible harm, is an aspect of serving the common good. The practice of prudence demands that we act thoughtfully but with urgency to halt further climate disruption.

Solidarity is an essential key element in Catholic tradition. “It is a firm and preserving determination to commit oneself to the common good…a willingness to lose oneself for the sake of others instead of exploiting them” as stated by Pope John Paul II. Solidarity places special obligations upon the industrial democracies. "The ecological crisis," Pope John Paul II has written, "reveals the urgent moral need for a new solidarity, especially in relations between the developing nations and those that are highly industrialized". Preserving the environment may force us to give up some comforts in life, however, this is the Catholic way of solving problems (selflessly). As Pope John Paul II has said, "protecting the environment is first of all the right to live and the protection of life"

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1.Definitions of Topic and it's Effects
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