The Book of Revelation gives a lot of pictures on how the world as we know it will end,as we know it today.But it does not explain that the North Pole will be gone or that The weather will be so warm we can't live on earth anymore or That we can't live in the air we have today.Of course there are cities like Tokyo that have major problems with the climate and they are "man made" in a way.But the bible does not tell us That the End of the world or the return of Jesus has anything to do with The climate on the earth.

How does the RCC see this.Should Christians use their time fighting climate change?

I would think THE RCC would have a opinion on what our focus should be on this topic.


1 Answer 1


Pope Francis recently released an encyclical regarding the environment: LAUDATO SI’... ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME. It begins:

  1. “Laudato si’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi1 reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.
  2. This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.

This encyclical follows up on the work of Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II in putting forth a position that mankind needs to take better care of the world. It doesn't try to equate the disasters spelled out in the book of Revelation with current environmental challenges. The appeal is to an ethical approach to mankind's role as stewards of the gift we have been given by God: the world.

The Roman Catholic Church has a Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church posted at the Vatican's web site. While taking good care of the world that has been provided for man's dominion falls under the general principle of stewardship, and is a reflection of how Adam was to take care of the Garden back in the beginning, there is detailed explanation of the Church's position (in the Vatican's trademark florid prose), from which a few points from Chapter 10 are extracted here:


a. The environment, a collective good

  1. Care for the environment represents a challenge for all of humanity. It is a matter of a common and universal duty, that of respecting a common good,[979] destined for all, by preventing anyone from using “with impunity the different categories of beings, whether living or inanimate — animals, plants, the natural elements — simply as one wishes, according to one's own economic needs”.[980] It is a responsibility that must mature on the basis of the global dimension of the present ecological crisis and the consequent necessity to meet it on a worldwide level, since all beings are interdependent in the universal order established by the Creator. “One must take into account the nature of each being and of its mutual connection in an ordered system, which is precisely the ‘cosmos' ”.[981]

    1. Responsibility for the environment, the common heritage of mankind, extends not only to present needs but also to those of the future. “We have inherited from past generations, and we have benefited from the work of our contemporaries: for this reason we have obligations towards all, and we cannot refuse to interest ourselves in those who will come after us, to enlarge the human family”. [984] This is a responsibility that present generations have towards those of the future,[985] a responsibility that also concerns individual States and the international community.

    2. The Magisterium underscores human responsibility for the preservation of a sound and healthy environment for all.[977] “If humanity today succeeds in combining the new scientific capacities with a strong ethical dimension, it will certainly be able to promote the environment as a home and a resource for man and for all men, and will be able to eliminate the causes of pollution and to guarantee adequate conditions of hygiene and health for small groups as well as for vast human settlements. Technology that pollutes can also cleanse, production that amasses can also distribute justly, on condition that the ethic of respect for life and human dignity, for the rights of today's generations and those to come, prevails”.[978]

1 Canticle of the Creatures, in Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, New York-London-Manila, 1999, 113-114. 4

[977] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 34: AAS 80 (1988), 559-560.

[978] John Paul II, Address to participants in a convention on “The Environment and Health” (24 March 1997), 5: L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, 9 April 1997, p. 2.

[979] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 40: AAS 83 (1991), 843.

[980] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 34: AAS 80 (1988), 559.

[981] John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 34: AAS 80 (1988), 559.

[984] Paul II, Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio, 17: AAS 59 (1967), 266.

[985] Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 37: AAS 83 (1991), 840.

Florid, definition 2. elaborately or excessively intricate or complicated


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