The Catholic antidote to our environmental ailments

Matthew J. Ramage

From the perspective of an outside observer, it might appear that being a citizen of planet Earth involves a highly peculiar core requirement. Judging by our politics, news, and social media accounts, it would seem that a fundamental choice must be made between being pro-environment and being pro-life--between caring deeply about the natural world and honoring the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.

On the one hand, those of us who value the sacredness of human life from its very conception are often disquietingly indifferent to broader issues that affect our planet. Indeed, in many ways Christians can rightly be accused of living in a way that is indistinguishable from our secular counterparts when it comes to the overall manner in which we inhabit creation. Even while professing the correct doctrines, our economic and social habits--how we spend our money and how we spend our time--may be every bit as bourgeois and "worldly" as those of our godless neighbors.

Indeed, even as they may lack nuance and be prone to extremes, those without faith are, at times, perhaps more virtuous than us in some areas, particularly in their concern for our fellow creatures. On the other hand, we probably all know someone who would go to great lengths to rescue an abused animal or preserve the habitat of a threatened species yet is perfectly content with the murder of unborn human children in the name of freedom.

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