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Pope Francis is one of the most influential people in the world whose words mean a lot for millions. This person is a spiritual guide for many people who often feel insecure in the modern world. The Pope provides his recommendations and tries to lead people to help them, which is especially relevant in turbulent times. It is but natural that Pope Francis reveals his views on environmental issues and has offered a number of strategies to approach the current environmental crisis.
Lines of Action
The first and most important line of action, as seen by the Pope, may seem ubiquitous to many. Pope Francis (2015) stresses that the close collaboration of states, international institutions, and organizations in the international arena can be instrumental in addressing the environmental crisis. The pope emphasizes the exclusive role the summit in Rio de Janeiro that took place in 1972. He states that it was a breakthrough as world leaders acknowledged the need to collaborate to address environmental issues since the planet is all people’s home. Importantly, the Pope names the primary obstacle to meeting the established goals, which is the lack of clear oversight mechanisms (Pope Francis, 2015).
This shortcoming is typical of almost all further steps in this direction that have to be addressed. It is important to make sure that the set objectives are met, and non-compliant stakeholders are properly treated.
Another line of action is related to local policies and projects aimed at addressing the issue. The Pope states that governments are responsible for implementing policies that lead to their countries’ sustainable growth, which is often declared but often ignored (Pope Francis, 2015). This attitude is especially common for developing countries that have to solve diverse economic, social, and political issues that require funds that are scarce.
The recommendation associated with the one mentioned above is the unity of political and economic areas, which is quite difficult to achieve. The Pope notes that the two spheres are often in conflict as they have different goals and approaches while focusing on their gains. Politicians and business people tend to pay little attention to meaningful and effective environmental projects that need investment and will to be effective. Pope Francis admits that it can be hard to bring these two camps together, but this collaboration is critical for the humanity’s sake.
Although this recommendation is placed at the end of the list of lines of action, it seems central due to its deep routes. People are brought in particular cultural paradigms that affect the formation of their worldview and behavioral patterns. Pope Francis (2015) emphasizes that religions need to become open to bring different groups and individuals, as well as nations together in addressing environmental issues. If religious leaders adopt this approach, they could contribute to creating the corresponding ethical agendas that would shape people’s attitudes towards the environmental crisis and ways to mitigate its effects.
Ecological Spirituality as a Solution
The Pope describes the characteristics of ecological spirituality that can help in dealing with environmental problems. Pope Francis (2015) argues that the modern focus on consumerism is harmful and unethical as it leads to irresponsible use of resources. However, spirituality, grounded in the conventions of the Catholic faith, teaches people to be less self-centered and confront their own individualism (Pope Francis, 2015). This attitude can be instrumental in developing societies that concentrate on sustainable growth where all individuals are ready to contribute and be less self-centered.
The Pope also mentions another attitude that can help in making humans more responsible. Modern education is based on scientific advances and knowledge trying to make new generations responsible. However, this approach has proved only partially effective due to people’s individualism and focus on certain gains. Pope Francis (2015) claims that the Catholic values and spiritual convictions can help make this education more comprehensive. Ethical aspects ingrained into the canvas of modern knowledge-based education making individualism less relevant can help in building communities that care about the environment and the future of the globe.
Finally, one of the most effective practices Catholic faith can bring is its principle that less is more. Ecological spirituality is deeply rooted in such practices as people understand that paying less attention to things and unnecessary commodities is instrumental in reaching the true joy of life. Communities that follow this principle do not experience the negative effects of consumerism as they focus on essential things that have nothing to do with material belongings.
On balance, it is possible to note that ecological spirituality is one of the ways to address the ecological crisis. People should follow the principles deeply rooted in Catholic convictions, such as concentrating on non-material domains, being less individualistic and self-centered, as well as trying to help each other build a better world. This approach can be effective as people often find the inner strength to address their personal issues with the help of their spirituality. Hence, humanity may become more responsible, but quite clear and immediate steps are needed. The Pope mentions the pathway that can help societies address environmental issues. The synergy of spirituality and science, as well as economy and politics, will lead to a more responsible attitude towards the planet and its future.
Pope Francis. (2015). Laudato Si’: On care for our common home. Our Sunday Visitor, Inc.