“Listen to the voice of creation” is he theme and the invitation of the Season of Creation this year. This ecumenical period starts september 1 with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and ends on October 4 with the feast of Saint Francis.
“It is a special moment – explains the Holy Father – so that all Christians pray and care for our common home together» and «an opportunity to cultivate our
Message from the Episcopal Subcommission for Charitable and Social Action
The Episcopal Conference joins this Day through the Episcopal Subcommission for Charitable and Social Action. «Energy crisis, peace and care of creation» is the title that heads the text signed by the bishops of this Subcommission.
ENERGY CRISIS, PEACE AND CARE FOR CREATION
On September 1 we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the care of Creation. It is a special moment in the life of nations and in the life of the Church.
We live the Time of Creationwhich ends on October 4, the day of Saint Francis of Assisi, in a context of warlike conflict of great repercussion in the life of Europe and especially in Ukraine. It is the opportune moment to renew our faith and our prayer, since international peace has been called into question and serious damage is being caused to our common home.
The war in Europe has surprised us all and has brought to the table the profound interconnection between energy security, the risk of an armed conflict and the danger of the destruction of all forms of life, which Saint John XXIII already diagnosed almost 60 years ago (1). Even, Threats and risks that seemed already forgotten return again, because at this crossroads the “nuclear issue” emerges again with forceboth in the case of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and in other parts of the world.
The encyclical letter Pacem in Terris of Saint John XXIII I already did a call to “all men of good will” (2) not to sow fear in humanity and not to destroy life, a call that, unfortunately, is still current in a time like ours, marked by war and environmental degradation: “The peoples live in perpetual fear, as if they were being threatened by a storm that could break out at any moment with horrible force. They are not without reason, because weapons are a fact” (3).
In the 1960s it was precisely when concern for the environmental issue also emerged; It was the time when the first scientific voices warned of the importance of caring for nature and the deep link between that care, human health and peace.
The World Council of Churches beginningshortly after, the ecumenical initiative “Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation” with which the Catholic Church, over time, has identified (4).
Energy crisis and food crisis
There is an evident interdependence between attacks against peace and their impact on the common home, in the order of Creation. When a certain consensus was already being born to face the underlying problems of humanity in the energy order and in the food order, With the war, the balance in the availability of food resources for numerous populations that depend on the granaries subjected to the violence of the conflict has been endangered and, above all, important populations of the poorest countries are at food risk, since they are preferably those countries are being particularly affected by the multiple health, geopolitical and climatic crises. The experts, in their recent Report on Sustainable Development for the year 2022, also confirm the path to overcome the current delicate moment: peace, diplomacy and international cooperation are the necessary conditions for the world to progress towards achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda. The war in Ukraine and other military conflicts are humanitarian tragedies that have a major impact on prosperity and societies around the world, especially the poor, and have the potential to amplify climate and biodiversity crises (5).
The international community, and also our country, has committed itself in recent years to making a transition towards the use of non-polluting energy and achieving sustainable agriculture.because “we know that technology based on highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser extent, gas – needs to be replaced progressively and without delay” (6).
Facing environmental problems “is inseparable from the analysis of human, family, work, urban contexts, and of the relationship of each person with himself, which generates a certain way of relating to others and to the environment. There is an interaction between ecosystems and between the various worlds of social reference” (7). And, in this case, the various crises feed back processes of impoverishment, especially in the most vulnerable people and with fewer resources, as we have already seen in our country: problems for carriers, for small businesses, high inflation which is called “the poor man’s tax”. In fact, the food crisis has put a lot of pressure on feeding the poorest, as scarcity drives up prices, and forms a tragic alliance with the pressure of energy prices. All this affects the decent living conditions of the most vulnerable.
So much Pope Francisas the Social doctrine of the church us They show the need to link the care of Creation and the strengthening of fraternity in matters that are essential for the life of families and their survival on many occasions.
We have been reminded that solutions are complex and they require not only technological innovation and adequate financing, but also political dialogue: “To face the underlying problems, which cannot be solved by actions of isolated countries, global consensus is essential that leads, for example, to programming a sustainable and diversified agriculture, to developing renewable and low-polluting forms of energy, to promoting greater energy efficiency” (8).
Until recently we thought that this dialogue had been achieved and we were heading towards a continent in which the protection of the environment and peace were goals to be achieved. “For decades it seemed that the world had learned from so many wars and failures and was slowly moving towards various forms of integration” (9). Nevertheless, the situation in which we find ourselves now makes us more cautious and pushes us to remember that both peace and the care of personal relationships and those between nations are always threatened. It is a task that requires constant attention and spiritual depth to be able to sustain itself over time. Perhaps this is the special contribution that we Christians can make in today’s complex scenario. In this time of creation we ask the Creator to grant us peace and help us to live brotherhood among peoples.
let it be ours commitment As a Christian community, on this World Day of Prayer, nurturing a “spirituality that consists of broadening what we understand by peace, which is much more than the absence of war. The inner peace of people has a lot to do with caring for the ecology and the common good” (10).
The bishops of the Charitable and Social Action Subcommission
(1). Pope Francis in his address on July 10, 2022: “I have been embarrassed when I read that a group of states have committed to spending this amount on buying weapons in response to what is happening. It’s crazy.”
(two). Saint John XXIII, Pacem in Terris n. 166.
(3). Saint John XXIII, Pacem in Terris n. 111
(4). First European Ecumenical Assembly, Basel, 1989.
(5). Association. Sustainable Development (SDSN) Report 2022, published on June 2, 2022.
(6). Francisco, praise yes n. 165.
(7). Francisco, praise yes n. 141
(8). Francisco, praise yes, n. 164
(9). Francisco, Fratelli Tutti, no. 10.
(10). Francisco, praise yes, n. 225