A Call to Peace

The first observance of the World Day of Peace was on January 1, 1968. In his address for that first observance, Paul VI established the day as a mandate for the Church to recognize its social mission and call faithful men and women to their duty to work for integral human development.

Every pope since — St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis — has issued a new World Day of Peace message annually. And these messages have included major ideas and teaching from these popes. In 1972, Paul VI coined his famous axiom, “If you want peace, work for justice”; John Paul II turned attention to the environment in 1990, a time when environmental ethics was not nearly as prominent of a topic as today; and in 2006 Benedict XVI offered a nuanced theological preview of his 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate in a message entitled “In Truth, Peace.” And now, Pope Francis continues this legacy, and has even augmented it.

mother earth 1Pope Francis has defined his pontificate with his urging of the Church to go to the margins of society, he has been in many ways a pope of peace and justice. In his pastoral visit recently  in Chile reminded the people to work for it. “Do you want peace? Then work for peace. A peacemaker knows that it is not enough simply to say: ‘I am not hurting anybody.’ As St. Alberto Hurtado used to say, ‘It is very good not to do wrong, but very bad not to do good.’” Pope Francis said that peace and justice will not come to those who are compliant.

Our Constitutions  remind us that as Servites:  our ideal is to reach the perfect stature of Christ, we shall have only relationships of peace, mercy, justice and constructive love toward creatures. (Cost 299). In our community gatherings, parish meetings and apostolic ministries I encourage every member of the Servite family to use these four strategies by which you can integrate peace building  in one’s daily life:

1. Learn. Read the World Day of Peace message. There are numerous websites to learn about Catholic efforts for peace and justice. Visit the  website, scan their news updates, and read about their work..
2. Inform. Start a conversation about the World Day of Peace message on social media about creating a better world.
3. Act. Visit the Catholic website on Peace  and read their toolkit for action. Affiliate with Peace organizations and movements.
4. Pray. Join Pope Francis in praying for peace. Pope Francis has launched a special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace on February 23, 2018 for war-torn nations, in particular for the Democratic Republic of Congo and for South Sudan that are suffering protracted conflict, and he has invited all men and women, regardless of their religious denomination, to join.

 

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Migrants and Refugees: interesting facts from then and now

 

Did you know that….

Every year, a Pontifical Message is published on the occasion of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, an event that originates from the circular letter “Pain and Concerns”, which the Sacred Congregation sent on December 6, 1914 to the Italian Diocesan Ordinaries. It is in this letter  recalls for the first time it was asked to set up an annual day to raise awareness on the phenomenon of migration and also to promote a collection in favor of pastoral work for Italian emigrants and for the preparation of emigration missionaries. As a consequence of that letter, on 21st February 1915 the first celebration of this Day took place.

mnd20180112-2

Migrants and refugees challenge us. Every day the dramatic situation of many men and women, forced to abandon their land continues to question us. We must not forget, for example, the current tragedies of the sea that have migrants as victims. According to the dramatic calculation reported by the International Organization for Migration, there are more than 3,000 migrants and refugees who lost their lives in 2017 in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean from the beginning of 2017. From the tragedy of Lampedusa in October 2013 – a shipwreck which cost the lives of 360 people – migrants dead in the Mediterranean were over 15,00

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MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 104th WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES 2018 [14 January 2018]

“Welcoming, protecting, promoting and
integrating migrants and refugees”

 

pOPE WITH mIGRANTS

Dear brothers and sisters!

“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34).

Throughout the first years of my pontificate, I have repeatedly expressed my particular concern for the lamentable situation of many migrants and refugees fleeing from war, persecution, natural disasters and poverty.  This situation is undoubtedly a “sign of the times” which I have tried to interpret, with the help of the Holy Spirit, ever since my visit to Lampedusa on 8 July 2013.  When I instituted the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, I wanted a particular section – under my personal direction for the time being – to express the Church’s concern for migrants, displaced people, refugees and victims of human trafficking.

Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age (Matthew 25:35-43).  The Lord entrusts to the Church’s motherly love every person forced to leave their homeland in search of a better future.[1]  This solidarity must be concretely expressed at every stage of the migratory experience – from departure through journey to arrival and return.  This is a great responsibility, which the Church intends to share with all believers and men and women of good will, who are called to respond to the many challenges of contemporary migration with generosity, promptness, wisdom and foresight, each according to their own abilities.

In this regard, I wish to reaffirm that “our shared response may be articulated by four verbs: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate”.[2]

Considering the current situation, welcoming means, above all, offering broader options for migrants and refugees to enter destination countries safely and legally.  This calls for a concrete commitment to increase and simplify the process for granting humanitarian visas and for reunifying families.  At the same time, I hope that a greater number of countries will adopt private and community sponsorship programmes, and open humanitarian corridors for particularly vulnerable refugees.  Furthermore, special temporary visas should be granted to people fleeing conflicts in neighbouring countries.  Collective and arbitrary expulsions of migrants and refugees are not suitable solutions, particularly where people are returned to countries which cannot guarantee respect for human dignity and fundamental rights.[3]  Once again, I want to emphasise the importance of offering migrants and refugees adequate and dignified initial accommodation.  “More widespread programmes of welcome, already initiated in different places, seem to favour a personal encounter and allow for greater quality of service and increased guarantees of success”.[4]  The principle of the centrality of the human person, firmly stated by my beloved Predecessor, Benedict XVI,[5] obliges us to always prioritise personal safety over national security.  It is necessary, therefore, to ensure that agents in charge of border control areproperly trained.  The situation of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees requires that they be guaranteed personal safety and access to basic services.  For the sake of the fundamental dignity of every human person, we must strive to find alternative solutions to detention for those who enter a country without authorisation.[6]

The second verb – protecting – may be understood as a series of steps intended to defend the rights and dignity of migrants and refugees, independent of their legal status.[7]  Such protection begins in the country of origin, and consists in offering reliable and verified information before departure, and in providing safety from illegal recruitment practices.[8]  This must be ongoing, as far as possible, in the country of migration, guaranteeing them adequate consular assistance, the right to personally retain their identity documents at all times, fair access to justice, the possibility of opening a personal bank account, and a minimum sufficient to live on.  When duly recognised and valued, the potential and skills of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are a true resource for the communities that welcome them.[9]  This is why I hope that, in countries of arrival, migrants may be offered freedom of movement, work opportunities, and access to means of communication, out of respect for their dignity.  For those who decide to return to their homeland, I want to emphasise the need to develop social and professional reintegration programmes.  The International Convention on the Rights of the Child provides a universal legal basis for the protection of underage migrants.  They must be spared any form of detention related to migratory status, and must be guaranteed regular access to primary and secondary education.  Equally, when they come of age they must be guaranteed the right to remain and to enjoy the possibility of continuing their studies.  Temporary custody or foster programmes should be provided for unaccompanied minors and minors separated from their families.[10]  The universal right to a nationality should be recognised and duly certified for all children at birth.  The statelessness which migrants and refugees sometimes fall into can easily be avoided with the adoption of “nationality legislation that is in conformity with the fundamental principles of international law”.[11]  Migratory status should not limit access to national healthcare and pension plans, nor affect the transfer of their contributions if repatriated.

Promoting essentially means a determined effort to ensure that all migrants and refugees – as well as the communities which welcome them – are empowered to achieve their potential as human beings, in all the dimensions which constitute the humanity intended by the Creator.[12]  Among these, we must recognize the true value of the religious dimension, ensuring to all foreigners in any country the freedom of religious belief and practice.   Many migrants and refugees have abilities which must be appropriately recognised and valued.  Since “work, by its nature, is meant to unite peoples”,[13] I encourage a determined effort to promote the social and professional inclusion of migrants and refugees, guaranteeing for all – including those seeking asylum – the possibility of employment, language instruction and active citizenship, together with sufficient information provided in their mother tongue.  In the case of underage migrants, their involvement in labour must be regulated to prevent exploitation and risks to their normal growth and development.  In 2006, Benedict XVI highlighted how, in the context of migration, the family is “a place and resource of the culture of life and a factor for the integration of values”.[14]  The family’s integrity must always be promoted, supporting family reunifications – including grandparents, grandchildren and siblings – independent of financial requirements.  Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees with disabilities must be granted greater assistance and support.  While I recognize the praiseworthy efforts, thus far, of many countries, in terms of international cooperation and humanitarian aid, I hope that the offering of this assistance will take into account the needs (such as medical and social assistance, as well as education) of developing countries which receive a significant influx of migrants and refugees.  I also hope that local communities which are vulnerable and facing material hardship, will be included among aid beneficiaries.[15]

The final verb – integrating – concerns the opportunities for intercultural enrichment brought about by the presence of migrants and refugees.  Integration is not “an assimilation that leads migrants to suppress or to forget their own cultural identity. Rather, contact with others leads to discovering their ‘secret’, to being open to them in order to welcome their valid aspects and thus contribute to knowing each one better.  This is a lengthy process that aims to shape societies and cultures, making them more and more a reflection of the multi-faceted gifts of God to human beings”.[16]  This process can be accelerated by granting citizenship free offinancial or linguistic requirements, and by offering the possibility of special legalisation to migrants who can claim a long period of residence in the country of arrival.  I reiterate the need to foster a culture of encounter in every way possible – by increasingopportunities for intercultural exchange, documenting and disseminating best practices of integration, and developing programmes to prepare local communities for integration processes.   I wish to stress the special case of people forced to abandon their country of arrival due to a humanitarian crisis.  These people must be ensured adequate assistance for repatriation and effective reintegration programmes in their home countries.

In line with her pastoral tradition, the Church is ready to commit herself to realising all the initiatives proposed above.  Yet in order to achieve the desired outcome, the contribution of political communities and civil societies is indispensable, each according to their own responsibilities.

At the United Nations Summit held in New York on 19 September 2016, world leaders clearly expressed their desire to take decisive action in support of migrants and refugees to save their lives and protect their rights, sharing this responsibility on a global level.  To this end, the states committed themselves to drafting and approving, before the end of 2018, two Global Compacts, one for refugees and the other for migrants.

Dear brothers and sisters, in light of these processes currently underway, the coming months offer a unique opportunity to advocate and support the concrete actions which I have described with four verbs.  I invite you, therefore, to use every occasion to share this message with all political and social actors involved (or who seek to be involved) in the process which will lead to the approval of the two Global Compacts.

Today, 15 August, we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.  The Holy Mother of God herself experienced the hardship of exile (Matthew 2:13-15), lovingly accompanied her Son’s journey to Calvary, and now shares eternally his glory.  To her maternal intercession we entrust the hopes of all the world’s migrants and refugees and the aspirations of the communities which welcome them, so that, responding to the Lord’s supreme commandment, we may all learn to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves.

Vatican City, 15 August 2017

Solemnity of the Assumption of the B.V. Mary
FRANCIS

[1] Cf. Pius XII, Apostolic Constitution Exsul Familia, Titulus Primus, I.
[2]  Address to Participants in the International Forum on “Migration and Peace”, 21 February 2017.
[3] Cf. Statement of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the 103rd Session of the Council of the IOM, 26 November 2013.
[4]  Address to Participants in the International Forum on “Migration and Peace”, 21 February 2017.
[5] Cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, 47.
[6] Cf.   Statement of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the 20th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, 22 June 2012.
[7] Cf. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, 62.
[8] Cf. Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Instruction Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi, 6.
[9] Cf. Benedict XVI, Address to the Participants in the 6th World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, 9 November 2009.
[10] Cf. Benedict XVI, Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (2010) and Statement of the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the 26th Ordinary Session of the Human Rights Council on the Human Rights of Migrants, 13 June 2014.
[11] Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People and Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Welcoming Christ in Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons, 2013, 70.
[12] Cf. Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 14.
[13] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 27.
[14] Benedict XVI, Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (2007).
[15] Cf. Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People and Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Welcoming Christ in Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons, 2013, 30-31.
[16] John Paul II, Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees (2005).

 

 
© Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

 

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Geoengineering (Climate Engineering)- a solution for climate change?

(S. Vincent Anesthasiar,CMF)

Secretariat for JPIC , E mail: jpiccmf@cmfgen.org

Curia Generalizia, 00197 Roma.

 

geoengineering

 

The invention of steam engine by James Watt in 1784 accelerated the use of gas, oil and coal(fossil fuel). The burning of fuel causes emission of carbon dioxide(CO2) . The CO2 increases the global temperature. At the era of industrial revolution( 1784-1800) the temperature of the planet was 0.8 °C lesser than the present temperature. For example the temperature of Chennai( India) was 28 °C then and whereas now it is 29.5°C.

 

The Paris Climate agreement (came into force in November 2016) aims to limit the global temperature rise between 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial levels. To achieve this the CO2 emission has to be reduced. To control the temperature, the allowed carbon budget till the year 2100 is 2860 Giga Tonnes (Gt). But now the annual global CO2 emission is 40 Gt. At this rate, the global carbon in 2100 will be 3320 Gt. This is a very alarming stage.

After the Paris agreement the nations have not taken any initiative to reduce the CO2 emission; the worst is that the US has withdrawn its support for Paris Agreement on June 1, 2017. At this stage to address this climate problem the scientists have come out with Geoengineering/Climate engineering, to fix mechanically, the climate issue.

 

Geoengineering(Climate Engineering)?:

The volcanic eruptions, pump the soot and Sulphur dioxide into the upper atmosphere. These prevent the sun rays coming to the earth. So the earth becomes cool. So volcanic eruptions are natural efforts of the earth to save itself. The scientists say that the humans can play the volcano; the aerosol particles and sulphur dioxide can be injected into the atmosphere mechanically to prevent the sun rays reaching the earth. This method is called Solar Radiation

 

Management(SRM).

The nose filters the carbon in the air that is breathed. Similarly, study is also underway, to filter the  carbon which is in the air and to store them in the ground. Ocean fertilization is another method to remove the existing atmospheric carbon. In this method nutrients are spread in certain parts of ocean to increase the algal growth. In turn the algal will intake the CO2. When algal die and reach the sea bottom, the carbon in the algal gets deposited in the sea bed. To reduce the carbon going into the atmosphere, experimentation is on to capture the carbon from the emitted smoke, before it goes into atmosphere. Another method under study is to burn the firewood(biomass) in low oxygen condition. So that the biomass becomes charcoal which can be powdered and mixed with soil.

 

Critique of Geoengineering:

There are diverse opinions, on the utility of geoengineering to tackle the climate question. It is said that the SRM method is very expensive; it might require 100 billion euros yearly. Once these methods are employed they  cannot be stopped; stopping would adversely raise the temperature. Because of these manipulations, the oceans will become more acidic, and the skies will become subtly darker; rainfall patterns could be affected; the ozone layer can be affected; the use of these techniques is like using umbrella; umbrella does not cancel the rain, it only makes the water fall away from the head; similarly the solar rays prevented in one part of the globe affects the other parts, causing drought etc. The rich nations and people can use the geoengineering to threaten and sanction other nations. Like economic sanctions there can be climate sanctions in the future.

 

Climate Geoengineering cannot provide a “quick fix” for the climate change problem. One cannot eat the cake and keep it; so also without changing the consumeristic pattern of life we ca not keep the planet healthy. The atmosphere is common for all and for all the generations to come. How can this generation decide for the generations to come? Even to conduct the research on geoengineering methods and to use them, global consent is needed. So questions are raised on ‘ who can make the decisions related to the research and the use? When these methods used, who will take care of the people affected by these methods? So there are moral, spiritual, economic, environmental and governance questions related to geoengineering. So a broad dialogue is needed, involving the participation of scientists, religious persons, economists, political scientists, environmentalists and philosophers. We are not sure whether there was a chance for public to debate when Genetic engineering was under study. But now Genetic modification(GM) on species and plants/food have made the life forms chemical dependent; GM has spoiled the health of the body, food crops, water, fishery, sea, soil and atmosphere. So now we have to initiate public discussion on geoengineering. The scientists welcome the public views. So we can take this to people and give feed back to scientific community.

 

 

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Chicago Council of Global Affairs: Conference on Climate Change

In December 4, 2017, a session was conducted hosted by the Chicago Council of Global Affairs during this conference on climate change. The conference has brought some 51 mayors and their staffs to Chicago at the invitation of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel of Chicago to develop a flexible mayoral covenant on climate change within North America. The session in which I was a participant was led by the mayors of Chicago, Vancouver, Montreal, Washington and a modest size city of 150,000 in Mexico. NY TIMES writer Thomas Friedman chaired this session.

Chicago Council of Global Affairs

Allow me now to share some of the important points that arose from the discussion.

1) Cities are assuming increasingly important roles in our global society. Global cities are where “the rubber meets the road” with regard to climate change issues. It should be noted that the Chicago Council on Global Affairs has taken a lead in highlighting the increasingly central role of major cities on issues such as climate change by hosting an annual Global Cities Conference each Spring.

2) Control over land use is rapidly developing as a major issue. It presents profound political challenges because governmental control of land use runs into many obstacles with developers. Yet some control is vital if the climate change challenge is to be met head-on.

3) There are significant shifts in population, especially among younger people. Most global cities are experiencing a significant immigration of young professionals and some (e.g. Vancouver) are witnessing an influx of wealthy people from Asia trying to escape the brutal climate conditions in China and India. How to integrate these new residents in North American cities in the face of economic disparity and land use control is becoming an increasingly difficult challenge. It seems that future residential development will need to assume a vertical rather than an horizontal orientation.

4) Transportation needs in the global cities are emerging as central issues. Montreal and Washington, for example, have metro systems now in mid-life with need for major overhauls. Bus transportation is becoming increasingly unpopular among the younger residents of global cities, There will need to be a greater emphasis on use of bicycles and on walking. There has been a significant increase in biking commuters. Basic supply facilities will need to be included in residential developments to decrease transportation needs.

5) We need to move rapidly to the use of electric cars. Vancouver now requires new housing developments to install charging facilities for electric cars as a requirement for a building permit.

6) Education on how to live in global cities in an era of climate change needs to become a central component of our educational systems at the primary and secondary levels. Here I should note that Cardinal Blaise Cupich’s Committee on integrating Pope Francis’ LAUDATO SI into the Archdiocese of Chicago is giving priority to such educational programming. This raises the question of how religious institutions can contribute to the major reorientation in the style of human living in our new global cities.

7) The current Republican/Democratic divide on climate change due in particular to the irresponsible views in the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency may more easily overcome at the mayoral level. An example is the Miami area where the mayor of Miami (Republican) and Miami Beach (Progressive Democrat) are both strong advocates of the need to address the challenge of climate change.

8) The commitments to work for a constructive response to climate change on the part of U.S. mayors gives hope to the rest of the world that the American people remain committed to the vision embodied in
the Paris Accords.

John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Ph.d
Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics
Catholic Theological Union
Chicago

 

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La Prima Giornata Mondiale dei Poveri e i Servi di Maria

  1. La Prima Giornata Mondiale dei Poveri

 Giornata dei poveri 2

La Giornata mondiale dei poveri, che si è celebrato per la prima volta il 19 novembre, è stata istituita da Papa Francesco al termine del Giubileo della misericordia, nella lettera apostolica “Misericordia et misera”. “Alla luce del Giubileo delle persone socialmente escluse, mentre in tutte le cattedrali e nei santuari del mondo si chiudevano le Porte della Misericordia, ho intuito che, come ulteriore segno concreto di questo Anno Santo straordinario, si debba celebrare in tutta la Chiesa, nella ricorrenza della XXXIII Domenica del Tempo Ordinario, la Giornata mondiale dei poveri”, scrive Francesco a conclusione della lettera apostolica. È lui stesso, così, a rivelare la genesi della sua iniziativa, pensata in uno dei momenti più inediti, commoventi ed eloquenti del Giubileo, in una piazza San Pietro popolata da migliaia di senza tetto, poveri ed emarginati per la giornata dell’Anno della Misericordia a loro dedicata.

L’indizione della Giornata mondiale dei poveri, che si aggiunge alle altre giornate mondiali indette dai Pontefici su svariate tematiche sociali, come la pace, le immigrazioni, ecc., ha la particolarità questa volta di non trattare una tematica. In primo luogo al centro della giornata , con il richiamo alla concretezza: «Figlioli, non amiamo a parole né con la lingua, ma con i fatti e nella verità» (1 Gv 3,18) Non è la Giornata mondiale della povertà , ma la Giornata dei poveri , cioè di persone concrete; è la giornata dell’invito a incontrare il povero, a condividere con lui anzitutto il tempo dell’accoglienza e dell’ascolto, la mensa e i suoi bisogni. Papa Francesco per primo ci ha indirizzato a viverla in questo senso pranzando in quel giorno con 1.500 poveri in sala Paolo VI.

Chi sono è poveri?

L’elenco dei “mille volti” della povertà è al centro del Messaggio per la Giornata mondiale dei poveri: dolore, emarginazione, sopruso, violenza, torture, prigionia e guerra, privazione della libertà e della dignità, ignoranza e analfabetismo, emergenza sanitaria e mancanza di lavoro, tratta e schiavitù, esilio e miseria. Verso di loro, spesso alziamo muri e recinti, pur di non vederli e non toccarli, dall’altro della nostra “ricchezza sfacciata”. Sono i poveri gli invitati in piazza San Pietro, insieme a tutti noi, chiamati da Papa Francesco alla “condivisione” per non amare a parole ma con i fatti, come Francesco d’Assisi con il lebbroso. I poveri, ammonisce il Papa nel Messaggio, non sono i semplici destinatari di una buona pratica di volontariato. Non si può restare indifferenti “alla povertà che inibisce lo spirito di iniziativa di tanti giovani, impedendo loro di trovare un lavoro; alla povertà che anestetizza il senso di responsabilità inducendo a preferire la delega e la ricerca di favoritismi; alla povertà che avvelena i pozzi della partecipazione e restringe gli spazi della professionalità umiliando così il merito di chi lavora e produce; a tutto questo occorre rispondere con una nuova visione della vita e della società”. L’invito alla prima Giornata mondiale dei poveri è rivolto a tutti, indipendentemente dall’appartenenza religiosa.

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Declaration: “Our Planet, Our Health, Our Responsibility”

This declaration is based on the data and concepts presented at the workshop: Health of People, Health of Planet and Our Responsibility Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Casina Pio IV, Vatican City, 2-4 November 2017, Casina Pio IV  The declaration follows after this introduction invited by the Parliament of the World’s Religions from its Trustee  Rev. Fr. John Pawlikowski,   a Servite friar,  explaining the context and importance of this release:

“The Pontifical Academy of Sciences was established by Pope Pius XI in 1936. Its membership is largely lay professionals who work on major questions affecting the relationship of religion and science under the jurisdiction of the Pope. For most of the decades since its inception, it has operated on somewhat low radar, its work being known primarily in certain elite circles. But the theology of Pope Francis that is firmly rooted in the understanding of the church’s role in contemporary society as envisioned in the II Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Church and the Modern World whose Latin title is GAUDIUM ET SPES (“Joy and Hope”) has brought the work of the Academy to much higher visibility and importance. This current statement is but once example of this new visibility in global society.

In the theological vision of Pope Francis, faith and spirituality must have a profound earthly rootedness. For him, as evidenced in his recent statements such as LAUDATO SI on climate change and the need for integral ecology, the old distinction between the spiritual and temporal realms is no longer sustainable. To be an authentic person of faith, to be truly spiritual, one must make a firm commitment to work for the sustainability of all creation. Such a commitment for Pope Francis is not merely one possible follow-up from a spiritual perspective. Rather, it is the core of contemporary Catholic spirituality.

The spirituality being promoted by Pope Francis demands a knowledge of relevant scientific perspectives. This is where the Academy emerges as a central instrument for the grounding of contemporary spirituality. Its work has become a central component of Pope Francis’ theological vision.

Finally, it is important to note that the statement has been developed in an ecumenical Christian setting, including representatives of the Christian evangelical communities. This is a positive step as no one denomination can generate the spirituality now needed for creational sustainability. Its one drawback in this regard is that it does not reach beyond the Christian community, something that hopefully will be corrected in the future. A true global spirituality must have roots drawn from the entire interreligious family.”

Content of the  Declaration here:

http://www.pas.va/content/accademia/en/events/2017/health/declaration.html?utm_source=Email+Updates&utm_campaign=2c243f0557-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_04&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_5516d1b278-2c243f0557-86788130&mc_cid=2c243f0557&mc_eid=sFmbtUIxtI

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