Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
March 23, 2009
Christian hope defends environment
BY CINDY WOODEN
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
VATICAN CITY – Part of the Christian duty to hope is to respect and defend nature, said the preacher of the papal household.
In a Lenten meditation for Pope Benedict and top Vatican officials March 13, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa focused on a verse from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans:
“All creation is groaning in labour pains even until now.”
The text, he said, is an indication that St. Paul believes that the entire cosmos — not just humanity — is waiting to be saved and restored to its original beauty by Christ.
The suffering of the cosmos “is not closed and definitive. There is hope for creation, not because creation is able to hope subjectively, but because God has a redemption in mind for it.”
Christians contribute to keeping hope alive by respecting and defending nature.
“For the Christian believer, environmentalism is not only a practical necessity for survival or a problem that is only political or economic; it has a theological foundation.
“Creation is the work of the Holy Spirit.
“We know everything about the world, except how it started,” Cantalamessa said. “The believer is convinced that the Bible furnishes precisely this missing first page.”
Cantalamessa said the controversy between scientists supporting evolution and religious believers promoting creationism or intelligent design is due mainly to a confusion between scientific theory and the truths of faith.
The intelligent-design theory asserts that the development and evolution of life is such a hugely complex process that a supreme being, God, must be directly involved in it.
While some proponents of intelligent design claim it is scientifically valid, most scientists dismiss it as pseudoscience.
NO CLEAR DISTINCTION
The arguments, Cantalamessa said, are due to the fact, “there is not a clear enough distinction between intelligent design as a scientific theory and intelligent design as a truth of faith.”
A belief in intelligent design for the creation and development of the universe is not a scientific theory, but a statement of faith, he said.
“Even those who eliminate the idea of God from the horizon don’t eliminate the mystery,” the preacher said.