A. Context in preparation for the day: Promote integrated human development
“In development programmes, the principle of the centrality of the human person, as the subject primarily responsible for development, must be preserved. The principal concern must be to improve the actual living conditions of the people in a given region… Development programmes, if they are to be adapted to individual situations, need to be flexible; and the people who benefit from them ought to be directly involved in their planning and implementation. The criteria to be applied should aspire towards incremental development in a context of solidarity – with careful monitoring of results – inasmuch as there are no universally valid solutions… The peoples themselves have the prime responsibility to work for their own development… Solutions need to be carefully designed to correspond to people’s concrete lives… there is need for the active mobilization of all the subjects of civil society, both juridical and physical persons” (CIV n.47).
B. Key phrase: “The missionary disciple to whom God has entrusted creation must contemplate it, care for it, and use it, while always respecting the order given by the Creator” (Fifth General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Bishops, CELAM V – Aparecida, n.125).
C. Core text for pastoral reflection:
Awareness is growing of nature as a free legacy that we receive to protect, as a precious space for shared human life and as careful responsibility of human stewardship for the good of all. This legacy often proves to be weak and defenceless against economic and technological powers. Hence, as prophets of life we want to insist that the interests of economic groups that irrationally demolish sources of life are not to prevail in dealing with natural resources, at the cost of whole nations and of humankind itself (CELAM V, No. 471).
In the face of this situation we offer some proposals and direction:
- Evangelise our peoples so that they discover the gift of creation, knowing how to contemplate and take care of it as the home of all human beings and womb of the life of the planet… educating them for a life of sobriety and austere solidarity.
- Deepen the pastoral presence among the populations which are most fragile and threatened by predatory development, and support them to achieve an equitable distribution of land, water, and urban spaces.
- Seek an alternative, integral and just model of development, based on ethics which include responsibility for an authentic humane and natural ecology.
- Try our best promulgating acts and civic involvement that may guarantee the protection, preservation and restoration of nature.
- Find ways to monitor respect for international environmental standards.
D. Reflection guide:
- What specific, feasible and sustainable actions do we feel called to take as Christian communities, and as individuals, to help protect the environment?
- What action or initiatives could we – as Ignatian followers or fraternal organisations – take or what proposals could we make to respond to this situation at local, national or international level?
- What kind of Church or other networks do we need to establish or strengthen in order take significant action?
E. Closing prayer: All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy are those who endure in peace, by You, Most High, they will be crowned. Happy those she finds doing your will! The second death can do them no harm. Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks and serve him with great humility.
F. Support material: She’s Alive… Beautiful… Finite… Hurting… Worth Dying for.
Complementary documentation and biography:
Zero Draft of Rio+20 (pdf document), please copy and paste the following URL in your web browser http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/content/documents/370The%20Future%20We%20Want%2010Jan%20clean%20_no%20brackets.pdf
Encyclical Letter, Caritas In Veritate. Benedict XVI
Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, V Conferencia del Celam. Aparecida
Information and contacts:
Mauricio López Oropeza, CLC Advocacy Coordinator, email: mauriciol(at)cvx-clc.net
Franklin Ibáñez, CLC Executive Secretary CLC, email: exsec(at)cvx-clc.net