Last month, NPR (National Public Radio) held a workshop for energy and environment reporters in Chicago. I was invited to be on a panel titled “The Environment as a Moral Question” and outline Catholic teaching on ecology and climate change. Here are some excerpts of my address:
Catholic Social Teaching
In order to frame my remarks, it’s important to first outline Catholic Social Teaching (CST). The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes Catholic Social Teaching as a body of key magisterial documents that together “propose principles for reflection; provide criteria for judgment; [and] give guidelines for action” (2423). These magisterial documents include papal encyclicals, like Laudato Si, and, according to William J. Byron, S.J. CST, generally contain ten themes: Human Dignity, Respect for Human Life, Association, Participation, Preferential Protection for the Poor and Vulnerable, Solidarity, Stewardship, Subsidiarity, Human Equality and the Common Good.
The CST principle of stewardship…
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