The Church And Its Impact On The Environment

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Catholic adherents are participating to a significant extent in the ever increasing ethical concern of the environment, in compliance with Church teaching. The environment is quickly becoming one of the greatest topics of debate in modern times as the impacts of climate change and deforestation become more and more apparent to the world, and is arguably man’s next greatest ethical concern. Regardless of one’s stance on ecological issues it is hard to argue that a change in our behaviour isn’t needed to prevent future devastation. The Catholic Church has always to some degree supported environmentalism, and that support is no doubt growing stronger rather than dwindling. To understand the significant extent to which adherents of Catholicism are participating in the ever increasing ethical concern of the environment, it is first important to explore Church teachings and their approach to ecology. Ecology according to the Church The well-being of the environment has always been considered important by the Catholic Church to varying degrees in the past, and this is reflected in the Catholic Social Teachings. Fundamental to the Church, the Social Teachings are at the core of Catholic social tradition and are largely unchanging (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, n.d.). Key themes of these Social Teachings include option for the poor and vulnerable, solidarity and unity in the pursuit of justice and peace, and care for God’s Creation, all of which are relevant to
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