Be Praised, Be Assessed – The Pope’s Encyclical

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The world should really applaud Pope Francis for his Encyclical for two reasons – No1# for his undivided approach in addressing the issues. No2# for his bravery and courage to reflect and acknowledge men’s failure in safeguarding our sacred mother and sister earth. In this important document that tackles the most challenging Environmental issues the world are now facing, he didn’t blame anyone, but kept a cool reflection on the lifestyle of our modern world infused by excessive comsumerism, uncontrolled market, profit driven production; and the moral responsibility for the cause of the problems:

Sobriety and humility were not favourably regarded in the last century. And yet, when there is a general breakdown in the exercise of a certain virtue in personal and social life, it ends up causing a number of imbalances, including environmental ones. That is why it is no longer enough to speak only of the integrity of ecosystems. We have to dare to speak of the integrity of human life, of the need to promote and unify all the great values.

He continues: Once we lose our humility, and become enthralled with the possibility of limitless mastery over everything, we inevitably end up harming society and the environment. It is not easy to promote this kind of healthy humility or happy sobriety when we consider ourselves autonomous, when we exclude God from our lives or replace him with our own ego, and think that our subjective feelings can define what is right and what is wrong.

The destruction of the human environment is extremely serious, not only because God has entrusted the world to us men and women, but because human life is itself a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement.

“The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast”. For this reason, the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion.

The most applaudable, as a top religious leader of some 30% of world population in a broad sense, he admitted in this important document, which will also shape the future teaching in the church, that there were some limitations in their interpretation of scriptures in the past teachings:

Admittedly, Christians have not always appropriated and developed the spiritual treasures bestowed by God upon the Church, where the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us.

Although it is true that we Christians have at times incorrectly interpreted the Scriptures, nowadays we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures.

(Please consult the Little Book 2 in 1 in 2 The Supreme Revelation, Part I The Three Tier Messages, Part II the Decoding)

This is the kind of leadership today’s world needs, which has the capacity for self-reflection instead of rigidness to promote extensively self agenda to lead to conflicts and tensions in international affairs. In saying so, I wonder where those leaders in other major religions, like Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism? Where is your future teaching in facing the new challenges of the world? Since ideological beliefs form people’s thoughts, attitudes, direct their activities and bring about physical realities.

The Pope calls, from the perspective of faith, for a full range of ecological conversion from individual heart of change to an awareness of social community, “a loving awareness that we are not disconnected from the rest of creatures, but joined in a splendid universal communion.”

In talking about the calling for a full range of ecological conversion, we noticed that human population explosion was missing from the consideration of breaking the ecological system, or nature code as worded in the encyclical. This leaves a room for some critics that the Pope still can’t jump out of the old dogma of Catholic Church’s adhesion to the stance of ‘pro-life’ or against birth control, even make some think this may counter-effect other efforts putting on to combat the environmental degradation, since religious/ideological conflicts, money driven social scheme and human population explosion are identified the three pillar causes for all the issues the world is facing.

Since it is a stance and teaching of centuries for the roman Catholic church to be against birth control and abortion, it may still take more time for the Pope to make the mental shift even though many catholic Christians do not support it and fight for the change; but the world cannot, for the sake of this, minimize the greatness of the Pope and compromise his leadership, neither the world would stop implementing policies on human population control without the Pope’s nod.

To use the Pope’s words:

Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our Hope.

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Posted by Helen Xinhui      Copyright@LWUM


Helen Xinhui Zhu is a visionary, teacher, soul awakening and New Earth New Life Initiatives facilitator. She provides consultation for New Earth New Life Initiatives for policy makers, and she initiated and is organizing the New Earth New Life Walking Meditation Network, hosting the New Earth New Life Golden Phoenix Forum. For more details, please visit our website


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