We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith.
We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.
We human beings are not only the beneficiaries but also the stewards of other creatures.
Thanks to our bodies, God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment, and the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement.
Let us not leave in our wake a swath of destruction and death which will affect our own lives and those of future generations.[Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Guadium…), no. 215]
What the Scriptures say about the care for creation:
Genesis 1:1-31: God made the heavens and the earth, and it was good.
Genesis 2:15: Humans are commanded to care for God’s creation.
Leviticus 25:1-7: The land itself must be given a rest and not abused.
Deuteronomy 10:14: All of heaven and earth belong to the Lord.
Psalm 24:1-2: All the earth is the Lord’s.
Daniel 3:56-82: Creation proclaims the glory of God.
Matthew 6:25-34: God loves and cares for all of creation.
Romans 1:20: Creation reveals the nature of God.
1 Corinthians 10:26: Creation and all created things are inherently good because they are of the Lord.
The dominion granted to man by the Creator is not an absolute power, nor can one speak of a freedom to “use and misuse,” or to dispose of things as one pleases.
The limitation imposed from the beginning by the Creator himself and expressed symbolically by the prohibition not to “eat of the fruit of the tree” (Genesis 2:16-17) shows clearly enough that, when it comes to the natural world, we are subject not only to biological laws but also to moral ones, which cannot be violated with impunity.
A true concept of development cannot ignore the use of the elements of nature, the renewability of resources and the consequences of haphazard industrialization – three considerations which alert our consciences to the moral dimension of development.[St. John Paul II, On Social Concerns (Sollicitudo rei Socialis…), no. 34]