What is The Evangelization of Culture?

In his paper “Nature, Culture and the Theology of Reconciliation” delivered for the Creatio Conference in Rio 2013, Alfredo Garcia, a Peruvian Philosopher, stated that “we can affirm that the central problem of mankind in our times rests in the “rupture with reality”.  All of reality is broken, and mankind struggles to relate to it in a correct and harmonious way. Therefore a society of reconciliation, and the evangelization of culture which is how we get there, require a correct relationship with reality, in the first place. Many times it seems that Catholics understand the evangelization of culture in very narrow and confining terms – as a political option by casting a vote, an economic decision to support Chick-file, etc.

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Happy Earth Day

To celebrate the Earth Day, this year NASA Organized a Worldwide Campaign. Young People from Church “Nuestra Señora de la Reconciliación”  in Lima participated in this important event.

2014-04-22 21.53.36

Creatio Panelists Making an Impact

As we celebrate another Earth Day, its worth taking note of the impact of some of Creatio’s speakers on the environmental scene. Last week the Catholic News Agency published an article on the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s new book: “Energy, Justice and Peace: A reflection on energy in the current context of development and the protection of the environment.” The book was presented by Cardinal Peter Turkson, keynote speaker at the Creatio Rio Conference for WYD, and one of the authors was Tebaldo Vinguerra, also a panelist at the conference. Tebaldo was quoted by CNA: 

“Tebaldo Vinciguerra, an official of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, underscored the need for a “green economy” which is concerned with the good of human persons, and not solely profits or the environment.

According to the pontifical council, the book “is not a geopolitical analysis, a planning document of a technical character or a universal scope, but rather a reflection meant to nurture other reflections, to inspire decision making on the part of competent authorities … to provide theoretical knowledge to those directly engaged in the field, and finally to increase public awareness of the question of energy.”

“The approach is interdisciplinary and general, as the work of the Pontifical Council was made in the light of the Gospel, the social teaching of the Church and its principles and criteria of judgement, without entering into technical-political details.”


The following is part of an article extracted from Communio 38:4 (winter 2011) 583 – 620 written by Mary Taylor and presented in the frame of the last WYD in Rio de Janeiro


Fuente de la Imagen: Sólo para Viajeros.pe     (Revista de viajes, turismo y desarrollo)

PopeBenedict XVI, said during the World Youth Day held in Australia, “Reluctantly we come to acknowledge that there are scars which mark the surface of our earth: erosion, deforestation, the squandering of the world’s mineral and ocean resources in order to fuel an insatiable consumption.”   Solet us start with an assertion: we are in the midst of an ecological crisis. Or, to mitigate the assertion: at the very least, many people perceive us to be in the midst of an ecological crisis, and even those who deny that there is any crisis at all must still deal with those who do – and that too can take the form of a crisis!

Thelitany of ills is long and readily visible and does not need to be repeated here; a vast field of ecology/environmental theorists and practitioners has risen up in response. One of the central concerns for these movements is sustainability, which seeks the assurance that nature’s resources will be continue to be available to us in the future. Its concomitant sisters are restoration – that which has been, in the Pope’s example, eroded, deforested, and squandered, should be regenerated – and conservation – “setting aside,” whether for genetic information to be used in the future cure of diseases, for scenic beauty, or other uses. While most people of good will agree on some form of these, there are different ways they can be approached.

Themanifestations of brokenness – both environmental degradation and disregard for life – are the result of actions that arise from free human choices; those choices may be economically or politically or even ethically motivated, but they have deeper roots. While there is not one single cause of those environmental crises (there are many proximate causes, some local, some not), ultimately questions about our relationships with others and with nature do not stand alone, but take their place within greater ontological and meta- anthropological dimensions, and must be faced by turning to those dimensions:  what do we take to be real and who do we think that we are.

Arecent text claims that there are over 200 schools of thought in ecology today.  We will consider them here under the rubric of “trajectories,” a word borrowed from Pope Benedict XVI; the word is chosen specifically because they encompass not – or not only – theories, but ways of thinking, of being, of acting, of living. It is always perilous to generalize, but the term is not meant to be totalizing metanarrative, a rigid taxonomy, a way to “control and colonize” ecological thinking, or a way to deny the complexity, variety, and distinctions within each trajectory.  Instead, the term is meant simply to point to, as Wittgenstein would put it, family resemblances.


 Achemical company remediates a polluted site by digging up the contaminated earth andcarting it away. A paper-and-pulp company plants a tree for every tree cut down. A nonprofit gets a scenic area set aside as a wilderness preserve.  Any environmental project which seeks to conserve, restore, recycle, or otherwise manage natural resources when those resources are seen onlyin terms of their utility, and where sustainability is understood as nothing more than “utility extended into the future,” falls under the First Trajectory – the “instrumental rationalism of resource managerialism.”

Sustainabilityindicators – complex quantitative tools combining various indices and metrics– have been developed to highly sophisticated levels. Rightly ordered, they may be useful tools within the other trajectories, but here their defining feature is a reductive mode of thinking based on an antecedent calculative utilitarianism in which all factors are stripped down to the measurable for a single goal: “environmental policies are designed to maximize human satisfaction or minimize human harms.”

The First Trajectory’s antecedents are found in modernity’s dualism between the person and the world; the human is the subject and nature is the object, to be known by a form of science seen as the final arbiter in all human endeavors.


 TheSecond Trajectory is the home of all projects which focus on nature as a holistic system that needs to be sustained for its own sake and not simply for human utility and efficiency. The idea is not to save nature for humans, but to save it by “letting be.” The same issues of sustainability, restoration, etc. may be considered, but they must be extended to living creatures and to the land. Second Trajectory ecological thought arose positively with the awareness of the delight to be taken in the natural world that was missing from positivism. It invokes, often in expressions of great beauty, the wonder at the heart of our relation with the earth. Philosophically, the Second Trajectory is part of postmodernity’s attack on the presuppositionsof the Enlightenment, including its assessment of the subject/object distinction in epistemology and mind/body, self/nature dualism (eco-phenomenology has been very influential here), and the overemphasis on reduction, mechanization, and quantification, derived from physics and extended to other fields.

TheSecond Trajectory’s holism is a philosophy of identity, in which, Benedict XVI has said, “the person is not an ultimate reality…[since] the person, the contrast between the I and the Thou, belongs to the sphere of distinctions;” instead, the boundaries between persons, and between persons and the natural world, “are absorbed, are revealed as provisional.”True solidarity based on respect is impossible not only with humans but with nonhuman entities if each living thing is nothing but “a dissipative structure, that …does not endure in and of itself butonly as a result of the continual flow in the system.”



 A few years ago, a young consecrated layman, Ricardo Simmonds (a member of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae and the founder of “Creatio,” a Catholic nonprofit that seeks reconciliation between persons and creation as a response to environmental problems) was given the project of creating a small park out of a garbage dump in a South American shantytown. If it had been a First Trajectory project, the initial step might have been an economic feasibility study, followed by hiring a planning/redevelopment consultant, then seeking out landscape designers, waste management engineers, and other technical help. A Second Trajectory project might have begun with an environmental impact assessment and a stakeholder charrette.  Instead, Simmonds put a large statue of the Virgin Mary in the middle of the dump.  First the mothers came to pray and plant flowers, carving out natural walkways; the children came to play; the fathers came and began hauling the garbage away; then others from both the shantytown and the city saw something beautiful happening that they wanted to be a part of, and volunteered their services, time, and money. This might seem like an isolated, irrelevant, or marginal event, and clearly a religious statue reflects a very specific milieu, but large-scale environmental projects have been carried out in a similar way: by reversing the standard order of starting with technical fixes and economic costs, which often lead to various social or political conflicts, and instead beginning with the common call to meet our deepest shared needs for meaning, beauty, mystery, and friendship. The other steps are not eliminated but are rightly ordered under what is most important.

We can see the above as an illustration of what Benedict XVI called a “new trajectory” in action:

A new trajectory of thinking is needed in order to arrive at a better understanding of the implications of our being one family; interaction among the peoples of the world calls us to embark upon this new trajectory, so that integration can signify solidarity rather than marginalization.

The name “Third Trajectory” gives the impression that it is another possible path to be set alongside the other two. But it is not simply another, ultimately indifferent choice, or a response to the others; it remembers and integrates what is good in them, while at the same transcending them.  This Trajectory really is new because its very grammar begins from a qualitatively different launching point, so that the ensuing alternative arc of its flight traces a solidarity that can embrace, heal, and bring to fruition all that is good in the earlier trajectories.  This trajectory, to borrow from David L. Schindler, is able “to integrate the achievements of modernity, while at the same time moving us truly beyond modernity.”

Benedict XVI sees both the extrinsic, functional relationality of the First Trajectory and the interrelatedness of the Second Trajectory, whether due to biology or choice, as inadequate: “Thinking of this kind requires a deeper critical evaluation of the category of relation.” This task, he continues, “cannot be undertaken by the social sciences alone, insofar as the contribution of disciplines such as metaphysics and theology is needed if man’s transcendent dignity is to be properly understood.” So we begin by turning from projects to principles.

In ecological thinking, the Third Trajectory is only now coming into being, awakened by the growing awareness that the first two trajectories are not sufficient. Operating through dualism, monism, or a dialectic of ambiguity, is too limiting. The suggestion is not to reject instrumental reason, interconnection, or dialectic; nor is it to turn one’s back on sustainability, restoration, or conservation. Sustainability, for example, involves more than insuring that we can continue consuming into the future. Though our natural resources are limited and finite, we have a need for meaning that transcends the material; only the infinite will suffice. Solidarity, which requires the participation of everyone involved, concerns more than merely overlapping interests and diverse perspectives; it involves a reversal.

The Third Trajectory does not necessarily promote any specific ecological practices. It draws on every other level and every other ecological method and strategy, not as something extra or added on, but as that which radiates the light by which the others are seen. Something Benedict XVI said about the Church finds an analogous echo in the Third Trajectory: “The Church does not have technical solutions to offer,” but rather points to the truth of human persons and their dignity and vocation, for “without truth, it is easy to fall into an empiricist and skeptical view of life, incapable of rising to the level of praxis because of a lack of interest in grasping the values — sometimes even the meanings — with which to judge and direct it.”

 Seeing the whole of creation as an analogical, participatory, personalist gift within which we are in communion with all other beings illuminates the experience of wonder and gratitude for the natural world; provides for genuine hope for the future; and opens the door to a solidarity that is relational in the deepest sense, one which transcends the anthropocentric/ biocentric divide and whose end, to borrow from Martin Luther King, “is reconciliation… redemption…[and] the creation of the beloved community.”



Strarford and Sophie Caldecott present us a resume of their lecture presented in the frame of WYD held in Rio de Janeiro on July, 2013. This beautiful document have special relevance in the context of the next encyclical about Ecology that our Pope is writing.




Through the pontificates of John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis, ecology has become an important part of Catholic social teaching. In 2011, Pope Benedict said, “The importance of ecology is no longer disputed. We must listen to the language of nature and we must answer accordingly.” In his inaugural Mass, Pope Francis asked us to become “’protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.” We have been reminded over and over again that, as Pope Francis also said in a Tweet on 5 June: “Care of creation is not just something God spoke of at the dawn of history: he entrusts it to each of us as part of his plan.”

Many scientist have dedicated their life to trying to save as much as they can, but many of them do it without the support that our faith gives us. They are defending God’s creation without even knowing who God is – just because they know it is the right thing to do. Not only are they defending the beauty of nature, but also they are trying to help preserve human life on earth, which depends on the survival of the “ecosystem”. As Catholics, we have even more reason to get involved in this issue. Our Christian faith tells us that this responsibility is part of what we were created for. The Book of Genesis (2:15) tells us “God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.”

Like response to the mentioned before, we need a humanistic ecological vision that takes account of the special nature of human beings, as well as the ecosystem in which we belong. This vision, as Pope Benedict said, should take in “not only the environment but also life, sexuality, marriage, the family, social relations”; that is, our “duties towards the human person” (Caritas in Veritate, 51). For all these things are part of what we mean by the nature of human beings. We are social by nature. We are born into families. We find meaning in our lives through loving and serving others. We have a dignity that can be expressed in the form of rights and duties.

Pope Benedict taught us that Christianity tries to balance the value of the human person with the value of nature as God’s creation. The Book of Genesis – as well as the Psalms and many other parts of the Bible, which praise the glories of nature – teach Christians to be responsible and gentle and wise in the way we behave towards the world around us. The virtue of Prudence instructs us to take special care to preserve the natural resources on which our lives and those of our children depend. The other three “cardinal virtues” that are part of the Christian life are just as relevant. Temperance tells us that we must not become greedy, addicted to consumption, living a lifestyle that depends on having more and more. The virtue of Justice reminds us that many of us in the richer countries of the world support our lifestyle at the expense of the poorer countries. And we need the virtue of Fortitude or Courage to strengthen us for what we have to do – to find ways to change the way we live, to be kinder to the earth, fairer to our fellow human beings, and merciful towards the animals and plants that God has created out of his love and wisdom.

Pope Francis recently condemned our culture’s unrestrained greed, saying: “Man is not in charge today, money is in charge, money rules. God our Father did not give the task of caring for the earth to money, but to us, to men and women: we have this task! Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the ‘culture of waste.’”

As young people we are consumers of clothing, and most of us would agree we should try to make sure we are not supporting unfair businesses, or buying things whose negative impact on the environment is hidden from view. If we are running a business, it is easy to say that we must not exploit our workers unfairly, or use immoral or illegal business practices to destroy competitors. That’s easy to say, sometimes less easy to do, in a fiercely competitive economy. We need ethical consumer organizations and corporate whistleblowers to help us. One thing we mustn’t do is assume that what we buy, what we wear, what we eat, is somehow unconnected with what I was saying earlier about the planet. If there is one thing ecology has taught us, it is that everything is connected.

In his speech to the German Bundestag in September 2011 called “The Listening Heart”, Pope Benedict said this: “We must listen to the language of nature and we must answer accordingly. Yet I would like to underline a point that seems to me to be neglected, today as in the past: there is also an ecology of man. Man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will. Man is not merely self-creating freedom. Man does not create himself.”

The Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II is all about what we find when we understand our own nature as created by God. The Pope talks about the “spousal” or “nuptial” meaning of the body, about the fact that we were made for love, and that there is a “way of living the body” in its authentic masculinity and femininity. This nuptial meaning has been limited, violated and deformed over time and by modern culture, until we have almost lost the power of seeing it, but it is still there to be discovered with the help of grace, like a spark deep within the human heart. The “language of the body” is part of that “language of nature” that Pope Benedict speaks of. The way we live, the clothes we buy and wear, the work we do, the way we treat each other, and, yes, the way we treat animals and the whole of nature, should reflect our understanding of that language – the fact that we are put here not to destroy and exploit but to love and cooperate.

In our families, and with our children when they come, we must draw on the love that opens our eyes to reality, as Pope Francis says in his encyclical Lumen Fidei (2013): “Faith knows because it is tied to love, because love itself brings enlightenment. Faith’s understanding is born when we receive the immense love of God which transforms us inwardly and enables us to see reality with new eyes” (n. 26). In turn, by revealing the love of God the Creator, faith “enables us to respect nature all the more, and to discern in it a grammar written by the hand of God and a dwelling place entrusted to our protection and care. Faith also helps us to devise models of development which are based not simply on utility and profit, but consider creation as a gift for which we are all indebted” (n. 55).

Beauty, Humor and Insight

This post has a little bit of many things.

1. First of all,  a great marketing effort by follow the frog label. Very funny and makes the point, with insight and criticism of some eco-gringo aspirations. My only issue with it is the solution: “Just follow the frog”. Really, is that all we can do? I think it is a good thing (perhaps, probably?), but if consumerism leads to the problem, is consuming better really the solution? What would Einstein say: “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”

 2. Next, a work of art on the beauty of nature, enjoy.

3. This other insight from John Francis from Ted Talks, who walked the earth in silence for over 2 decades:

“I started talking because I had studied environment. I’d studied environment at this formal level, but there was this informal level. And the informal level — I learned about people, and what we do and how we are. And environment changed from just being about trees and birds and endangered species to being about how we treated each other.Because if we are the environment, then all we need to do is look around us and see how we treat ourselves and how we treat each other.” 

This insight learned from the wisdom of reality, of being in touch with the world, is fully in line with the message of human ecology of Pope Francis and the Church.


Papal Encyclical on Human Ecology

The rumors about a new encyclical dedicated to the environment were leaked a while ago. Articles can be seen here, here and here. While Vatican insider Andrea Torniele broke the news, the official News.Va site said the following:

 The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., confirmed on Friday that Pope Francis has begun work on a draft text on the topic of ecology, which could become an encyclical. But, Father Lombardi said, the project is in an early stage, so it is too early to make any prediction about the timing of possible publication.
Father Lombardi said it is important to note that Pope Francis intends to put particular emphasis on the theme of “human ecology,” a phrase used by Pope Benedict to describe not only how people must defend and respect nature but how the nature of the person – masculine and feminine as created by God – must also be defended.

This is not surprising considering Francis’ many comments and speeches about the environment (see examples here, here and here) and the continuity of ecology in the Magisterium of Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II. However, until this point no single encyclical has dealt with ecology as the central theme- and this is a huge step, crystalizing into a Magisterial response what Pope Benedict XVI identified as a “sign of the times” – the care for creation.

What Pope Francis will say exactly only a few people probably know. We can guess that he will connect ecology with poverty and solidarity, the culture of waste, the value of life and need for conversion and mercy… themes he often speaks about. Here, Creatio offers a few suggestions of important themes such a momentous encyclical should also include:

1. Ecology, Human ecology and holiness

            The ecology of nature and human ecology are deeply intertwined. Not only injustice and abuse in one affects the other[1], but the response of humankind very closely decides the fate of the creation we so much love and care for. Along with care for the natural environment, we also have to care for a “human ecology” that provides the space for the dignity and fulfillment of the human person and the good life for all according to God’s plan.[2] Following Vatican II, both the social and ecological problems rest in the heart of man: “The truth is that the imbalances under which the modern world labors are linked with that more basic imbalance which is rooted in the heart of man.”[3] It is in our hearts, each one’s heart, where the fate of mankind and of creation is decided. Jesus Christ gives us back our heart so we can love and serve (see Ez 36, 26). The environment suffers because the human person and society suffer. Every time we choose evil and sin, we are harming the little ones; creation and especially our vulnerable brothers and sisters. Human ecology shows that the best environmentalist is the saint, who loves in the image of Jesus Christ.


2. Reconciliation and Ecology

The theology of reconciliation helps Christians understand the human relationship with creation. Ecology and human ecology, all of reality, have as their foundation a Trinitarian dimension that impresses its relational dynamic of love. The anthropological consequence of the Trinity is the human being made for relationship and encounter at his deepest core. Relationship and love are what fulfills man; this has been broken by original sin and our own sins. We therefore are called to reconciliation at four fundamental levels, in order of importance, as outlined in Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Reconciliatio et paenitentia: “four reconciliations which repair the four fundamental rifts; reconciliation of man with God, with self, with the brethren and with the whole of creation.”[4] This reconciliatory perspective lends itself to exploring the “culture of encounter” (so often repeated by Pope Francis and the CELAM document of Aparecida) for the environment and our relationship with it. The answer to a “culture of waste” is the “culture of encounter”, of giving and of charity.


3. Christocentrism

           This leads to a way of encounter as a positive response to ecological challenges. Inspired by anthropological pessimism, the environmental landscape of ideas is often littered with moralistic and conflictive approaches that often emphasize the negative aspects of our relationship and impact on nature, resulting in a “grave assault not only on nature, but also on human dignity itself.”[5] The Catholic faith rather than limit and place conditions on human interaction looks to an overabundance of relationship with creation in love, as expressed magnificently by St. Paul: “For all things are yours, and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor 21.23). All things belong to man, in full conformity with the biblical account of Genesis; but mankind understood in a distinctive Christological way. It is because man is made for God (CCC 27.45.356), called to live in the image of Christ (GS 22), that all things belong to him. A theologal anthropocentrism, or christocentrism, which affirms the unique dignity of man as the center of creation and whose distinctive trait is the relationship with God, is able to harmonize the “superior role of human beings”[6] with the responsibility to serve creation.


4. Power is service

            Biblical scholarship helps understand today’s environmental challenges. God’s command for man to ‘subdue’ and ‘lord’ over creation in the book of Genesis (see Gn 1), is within our sharing in the kingly mission of Christ[7], and so, profoundly Christological. Likewise is our duty to order society according to a human ecology. To criticize Christianity for promoting the abuse of creation or our fellow men is to misunderstand the meaning Jesus has given to power and authority: “the exercise of authority is service: we must never forget that true power, at any level, is service, whose bright summit is upon the Cross. John Paul II said “dominion granted to man by the Creator is not an absolute power, nor can one speak of a freedom to “use and misuse,” or to dispose of things as one pleases.”[8] Benedict XVI reminded that although man frequently equates authority with control, dominion, success, for God authority is always synonymous with service, humility, love; as Jesus who kneels to wash the Apostles’ feet (cf. Angelus, 29 January 2012), and says to his disciples: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them… It shall not be so among you.”[9] Abuse to both the natural and human ecology comes from revering the power of exercising reason and freedom without reference to what is good and true;[10] this is not Christianity but its corruption and betrayal.


5. Charity, Solidarity and Human Ecology

            Human ecology is the healthy environment conducive to authentic human fulfillment.[11] Charity in truth is the force that leads to human development and fulfillment as well as to the healthy ordering of society through justice and the common good,[12] fostering a human ecology. Being a common space, human ecology requires the existence of a public space and language for the community of peoples and states to reflect and debate what is truly right and just; drawing from nature, conscience and reason to seek in common the defense of human rights, peace and justice.[13] Human ecology also requires that family, work, architecture, urbanism, lifestyles and all of culture respond to authentic human nature. A human economy must not be ruled by greed or consumerism, but use its wealth and resources in solidarity, among people and nations, so the world’s population can satisfy its needs and live in dignity. Responsible stewardship over nature must ensure its protection and the sustainability of the entire human family now and in the future.[14]

Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the need for a change of lifestyle. Solidarity, suffering with others, using and having less in order to give more to others. Solidarity should be a guiding principle upon engaging specific environmental problems. In the complex and multivariate issue of climate change, solidarity privileges approaches that emphasize adaptation, that is helping vulnerable communities and even ecosystems who are at risk, rather than first investing in technological or long term economic solutions that disregard the immediate needs of the poor. In this regards, it is important that the encyclical engage specific ecological issues such as climate change, water availability, food, biodiversity, energy, resources extraction and economics, pollution, etc. However, we caution the Magisterium to use prudential judgment and to be careful in use of information available from experts, the media and academics. Many environmental issues are used as a screen for projecting particular ideologies and perspectives that the Church should be cautious about endorsing. In climate change for example, there is an important need for recognizing the reality of the situation while not amplifying the apocalyptic prophecies of the academic elite. Nonetheless, the Church must not shy away from engaging these topics specifically. Precise knowledge, wording and careful language will be crucial on these controversial issues.


6. Ecology, Human Ecology and evangelization

            Finally, the interest among modern culture, and especially the youth, on issues of ecology and human ecology can be a great avenue to encounter Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict XVI alerted: “And in this we must take care to perceive the signs of the times in our epoch, namely, to identify the potentials, aspirations and obstacles we encounter in today’s culture and in particular the wish for authenticity, the yearning for transcendence, and concern to safeguard Creation and to communicate fearlessly the response that faith in God offers.”[15] Reflection, experience and action in nature can point any person, believers and non-believers alike, to authentic transcendence itself, the Creator of the world. Human ecology can also help to evangelize culture by framing urgent social issues, such as those related to the family or to sustainable development, in an appealing way, with an objective reference to nature and in the context of the common good.

This invites Catholics to evangelize and reach those who are on the peripheries: “we cannot forget that evangelization is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him. Many of them are quietly seeking God, led by a yearning to see his face, even in countries of ancient Christian tradition.”[16] Experiences in nature and beauty can provide opportunities for responding to “missionary activity [which] still represents the greatest challenge for the Church.”[17] Since we “cannot passively and calmly wait in our church buildings”[18], by living a human ecology in communion with creation we can literally move into the streets, fields and forests.


[1] Centesimus annus 37; World Day of Peace 2007, 8; Caritas in veritate, 51; World Day of Peace 2010, 11.

[2] Centesimus annus 38; Evangelium Vitae, 42.

[3] Gaudium et spes, 10.

[4] Pope John Paul II, Reconciliatio et paenitentia, 26.

[5]Benedict XVI, Message for the World Day of Peace 2010, 13.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Christifideles laici, 14.

[8] Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 34

[9](Pope Francis, Address to the International Union of Superiors General, 8 May 2013).

[10] Leo XIII, Libertas, 15; Centesimus annus, 4.

[11] Centesimus annus, 38.

[12] Caritas in veritate, 1, 2, 6, 7.

[13]Benedict XVI, Address to German Parliament, Sept. 2011.

[14] Caritas in veritate, 50, 51.

[15]Benedict XVI, Catechesis, 28 Nov. 2012.

[16]Pope Francis, Evangelii gaudium 15.

[17]Redemptoris Missio, 40.

[18]Aparecida Document, 548.