Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Theologian Victor Codina presents decalogue on the physical deterioration of planet Earth

By Agencia de Noticias Fides (English translation by Rebel Girl)
October 11, 2015

Jesuit priest and theologian Victor Codina, in his speech at the interreligious dialogue on "Climate change and the culture of life" on the first day of the Second World Peoples' Conference on Climate Change, released a decalogue about the deterioration suffered by the Earth for more than 200 years, because of which he deems it necessary to bear in mind human responsibility based on spirituality, whatever the creed professed.

The conference is taking place in Tiquipaya, Cochabamba, with the participation of national and international delegations, and it aims to discuss different topics that include designing solutions to the problem of global warming that will be compiled to be displayed at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-21) in Paris in December.

Here are the details of the decalogue proposed by Codina:

1. Never has humankind destroyed nature so much as in the last 200 years and now those who suffer the consequences the most are the poor.

2. Given this reality, heightened awareness and a joint effort are needed. We need a binding authority, a tribunal which may be a solution to this problem.

3. The ecological crisis is not just a scientific, economic and political one, but a cultural and ethical human crisis, a crisis of values. The current economic model lacks values and its aim is economic profit by exploiting nature, marginalizing the poor.

4. In this time, we must appeal to the wisdom of cultures and religions -- spirituality, that is, the relationship of human beings to God, whatever the belief might be.

5. This spirituality takes shape in various religions; this dimension is cultural to human beings. Neuroscience says that beliefs help to live well and endure the hardships of life. Beliefs help the ecological problem of the earth.

6. The dimension of spirituality and religiosity helps us build a culture of life, to live rightly in face of the temptation to live better at the expense of leaving other sectors of humanity in destitution.

7. A change of life is urgent for religions, a comprehensive ecological conversion to a more sober and simple lifestyle to feel part of Mother Earth.

8. This culture of life should crystallize in specific things which go from saving water and electricity to seeking non-polluting energy alternatives, questioning GMOs, opposing nuclear power plants, etc.

9. For those who profess the Christian faith, the culture of life is the world created by God. Human beings are not the owners of Creation, but its guardians and collaborators in the work of God.

10. Pope Francis' encyclical "Laudato Si'" is addressed to all the inhabitants of Earth. It offers a deep reflection on caring for our common home and calls on all religions to offer a sense of motivation in this defense of the Earth.

Victor Codina is a Jesuit priest and theologian of Spanish origin who has lived more than three decades in Bolivia. He has pastoral experience with the grassroots communities and as a teacher of theology both to lay people and religious, and he is author of numerous books and articles on ecclesiology, liberation theology, religious life, and other things.

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