San Franġisk u l-Għarfien ta' Alla fil-Ħolqien

(kontribut fit-Tieni Konferenza Nazzjonali dwar l-Ambjent u l-Knisja, 6 t’Ottubru 2006)

15. Protecting the environment involves moderating our desires to consume and own more, which creates lifestyles that bring death to millions of other people. Consumerism, global environmental change and suffering in the developing world are inextricably linked.

At the personal level the suffering of others and the damage to our planet demand that we look closely at our own lifestyles. Individual acts of selfishness can create a society characterized by a desire for short term gain and immediate gratification over longer term needs and a wider view.

In response, both individual and collective acts of selflessness are needed -- of self-sacrifice for the greater good, of self denial in the midst of convenient choices, of choosing simpler lifestyles in the midst of a consumer society. This does not mean abandoning the scientific and technological advances which have given us such great benefits. It means using them wisely, and in a thoughtful manner which reflects true solidarity with all the people of the earth…

Our faith and our religious tradition have much to offer the world at this time, including the importance of simplicity, and of learning to give up some things that we want, so others may have what they need. Our understanding that we are stewards of God's creation, our solidarity with the poor, and our respect for the common good make the issue of environmental justice the responsibility of every person. (Bishops’ Conference of New Zealand, “Statement on Environmental Issues”, 8th September 2006).

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