According to Vatican Insider the Episcopal Conference of South Korea has created a handbook for the Catholic environmentalist. Published by the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, “Catholic Teachings on the Environment” is a compendium of Catholic thought on the ecosystem and its development.
“It is a collection of texts ranging from Lumen Gentium to Gaudium et Spes, from papal documents on the environment to other writings from bishops’ conferences around the world. It is a sort of handbook for the Catholic environmentalist.”
In his introduction, Archbishop Ri explains: “As the Catholic Church, we have the gift of being present all over the world. We must take our time and try to give our response to the problem of the environment, which is becoming more important for all of us. But we cannot give just one single response – we must try to understand the various realities around the world. The universal writings collected in this text can be very useful for that.” The environmental issue is deeply felt in South Korea. Protective of their climate, Koreans protest very frequently – and with great vehemence – against unauthorized construction, deforestation, and military installations at sea. However, the unrestrained economic development that has struck the country makes it increasingly difficult to protect the ecosystem. In the Earth Day message delivered by the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, the Korean bishops admonished: “We are too arrogant – we must return to caring for the Earth.” In fact, “like God, who loves all souls, taking care of the environment in itself gives us a chance to improve our lives. We must think of rivers, lakes, and animals as living beings, fully worthy of our highest consideration. We must all live together without arrogance.”