#1094 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 5 July 2015
The recent Encyclical on environmental care released by Pope Francis has been criticised as religion meddling in politics, but in reality it provides a fine summary of biblical teaching on our shared ecological responsibility.
To those who question the church’s right to offer definitive opinions on ecology, or climate change mitigation, Francis reiterates the centuries-old claim that “science and religion, with their distinctive approaches to understanding reality, can enter into an intense dialogue faithful to both” (s.61).
He expresses confidence that “the great biblical narratives” offer an enduring and relevant perspective on the relationship of humans with the world, complementing the witness of science. Scripture declares that God created everything, viewed what he made as “very good,” and has invested humankind with “infinite dignity.”
The Bible also teaches the importance of stewardship of the earth and its ecosystems, the consequences of disobeying divine commands, and the redemption available in Christ leading to personal, social and ecological hope.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.