Environmental Problem Is Deemed "Anthropological"

Bishop Crepaldi Addresses Meeting in Rimini

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RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 25, 2005 (Zenit.org).- A Vatican official says that he favors a culture of defense of the environment that criminalizes neither man nor nature.

Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, made that observation when addressing the Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples, organized by the ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation.

Bishop Crepaldi illustrated the Christian view on ecology in a debate with Paolo Togni, head of the office of the Italian Ministry for the Environment. He discussed the theme «Christians and the Environment.»
<br> The Vatican official said that the Catholic Church is very sensitive to the topics that affect creation, but does not admit «the absolutization of nature, or its reduction to a mere instrument.»

«It makes of nature the cultural and moral setting in which man carries out his own responsibility vis-à-vis the rest of men, including future generations, and before God,» for his own growth and in view of the universal destiny of goods, said the Italian prelate.

Human ecology

Rejecting the temptation to idolize nature, present in some radical ecological currents, Bishop Crepaldi confirmed that the Church «has confidence in man and in his ever-new capacities to seek solutions to the problems posed by history.»

According to the bishop, «the problem of the environment is an anthropological problem,» so the development of the culture of the environment should take into account the definition of «human ecology,» a phrase used by Pope John Paul II.

Man «not only must respect nature, but also moral life, through a ‘human ecology,'» explained Bishop Crepaldi.

«The anthropological error is, in turn, a theological error,» he said. «When man wants to put himself in God’s place, he also loses sight of himself and of his responsibility of the governance of nature.»

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