Laudato si’(III): a universal interconfessional ecological spirituality?

Being an important magisterial document, an Encyclical should be characterized by clear and defined ideas regarding the topic at hand, in order to delineate the path to be followed by the Hierarchy and the faithful; as well as, consequentially, by all men of good will – for the Church never ceases to be a moral reference point, even for those who don’t follow her. Which brings us to the question: how is it possible that Laudato si’ takes a position which, in certain points, contradicts the magisterial teaching of the Church regarding the ecological issue, while in other points it emphasizes these same teachings. It hurts us to say this, but it is a veritable hodgepodge of ideas…that seems suitable for such a ‘green’ encyclical.

This jumble is evident in many paragraphs that claim to disapprove of the views and principles of fundamentalist and radical ecology ( even citing documents of the preceding Magisterium regarding this topic), while at the same time leaving ample scope for ambiguities and irenicism: for example, on citing Teilhard de Chardin and the so-called ‘Earth Charter’ – documents of a dubious or manifestly pantheistic nature that do not harmonize with the doctrine of the Church on numerous points. Or even in going so far as to omit the mediation of Jesus Christ in a public and official prayer of his Vicar on earth! All of this opens the doors of the Church to the conception of an interdenominational, neo-pagan and universal religion, for it turns a blind eye to Catholic doctrine in its entirety, hiding important aspects that have already been defined, so as to come together with the world. It’s worthwhile to analyze these points and reveal these aspects, for as John Paul II so aptly affirmed, far more than the planet, the house common to all Catholics is the Holy Mother Church: ‘In the baptismal waters you were born to a new life, that inserted you within the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church, One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, the Ark of salvation and common house of those who invoke God as Father’ (John Paul II. Message to the Peoples of America, 12 de octubre 1992) More on this…

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