Ecological sins may be added to Catechism

Pope Francis says the Church may add ecological sins to the Catechism – the Church’s official teaching.

A request to do this came from bishops at the recent Synod for the Amazon.

In its final document, the synod defined ecological sin as a sin against God and future generations. It “manifests itself in acts and habits of pollution and destruction of the harmony of the environment.”

Protecting the environment is one of Francis’s particular priorities. His encyclical Laudato Si’ (2015) is about this.

“We have to introduce, we are thinking about it, in the catechism of the Catholic Church, the sin against ecology, the sin against our common home, because it’s a duty,” he says.

According to the Rome Statute the International Criminal Court adopted in 1998, there are four core international crimes.

They are: crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes and crimes of aggression.

Francis wants the international community to recognise ecocide as a “fifth category of crime against peace.”

This includes “the massive contamination of air, land and water resources, the large-scale destruction of flora and fauna, and any action capable of producing an ecological disaster or destroying an ecosystem.”

Speaking to last week’s 20th world congress of the International Association of Penal Law, held in Rome, Francis said the culture of waste is only part of the problem.

Combined with other widespread phenomena in western societies, it is showing the “serious tendency to degenerate into a culture of hatred.”

“It is no coincidence that in these times, emblems and actions typical of Nazism reappear, which, with its persecutions against Jews, gypsies and people of homosexual orientation, represents the negative model par excellence of a culture of waste and hatred,” Francis told conference participants.

“On this occasion, and through you, I would like to appeal to all the leaders and representatives in this sector to help with efforts … to ensure the adequate legal protection of our common home.”

He also criticized the “market idolatry” that makes individual people defenseless before the interests of the “divinized market”.

This market has become the absolute ruler, with some economic sectors exercising more power than the state itself, he said.

“The principle of profit maximization, isolated from any other consideration, leads to a model of exclusion which violently attacks those who now suffer its social and economic costs, while future generations are condemned to pay the environmental costs.”


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News category: World.

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