Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 5, 2002
God entrusted the Earth to us
Treat people with dignity, says Archbishop Collins
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The human quest for dominance and control of the planet and other human beings is dangerous and can only lead to death and destruction, says the archbishop of Edmonton.
Speaking at the 81st annual convention of the Catholic Women's League April 27, Archbishop Thomas Collins said humans are entrusted with the world but they don't control it because "God is responsible for everything."
He said human beings are not simply the result of random forces and said they should be treated with dignity and respect.
"Each one of us is precious, is made in the image and likeness of God," he said as he reflected on the first chapter of Genesis "And so we need all to relate to one another that way, in the image and likeness of God."
If each person in society would do that, "then what a different world we would live in," Collins said. "We would then truly be in the culture of life, where people are treated with reverence and respect and not simply disposed of in so many different ways. That's the great message of the very beginning of the Bible."
Collins said the message of Genesis is that we are entrusted with creation but that we don't own it. "We don't own the world.
"We are entrusted with it as we are entrusted with the lives of one another. Therefore, we must be responsible in the way in which we tend the garden and not try to take over and command and control it all," the archbishop said.
"We need to realize, each one of us, that we do not control all the trees in the garden. We are by nature limited, each one of us, and therefore we are given a great and beautiful mission and entrusted with the wonderful creation around us.
"But we cannot master and control that totally. Only God is responsible for everything."
The sin of Adam and Eve in Chapter 3 of Genesis is not the sin of lust, but the sin of dominance and pride and possession, according to Collins. This sin "leads nowhere but to the destruction of the garden."
"That quest to control is always a great danger in our lives and we see it in our world today, where the illusion of being God can destroy human life," Collins said. "We do not own human life. It is entrusted to us. We do not own the planet. It's entrusted to us."
Christians must pay attention to situations where people are treated as objects and not granted the dignity God gave them, the archbishop told his audience.
"The CWL is constantly speaking to society as a whole on the dignity of the human person and that's profoundly important because we always need to make this known in our society," he said.
That's the right thing to do, he added, because as Christians we must make sure that the laws that govern our society "must always be guided by the vision that comes to us from the Gospel."