By Emily Drooby
While speaking to members of the International Association of Penal Law, Pope Francis shared his plans to update the Catechism to include a definition of “ecological sin.”
“We must introduce – we are thinking about it – in the Catechism of the Catholic Church the sin against ecology, the ecological sin against the common home, because it is a duty,” he said.
The announcement sent shockwaves through the Catholic world with many taking to social media to voice their comments.
“We have a moral obligation to care for everything that God created out of love,” explained Brother Joseph Bach, the directorof vocations for the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, who holds the environment close to his heart.
“Anything that separates us from God or God’s creation, that’s sinful and anything that is going to not care for what God made out of love, is sin plain and simple,” he told Currents News at St. Francis College.
Another Franciscan, Father Brian Jordan, said the idea picked up steam during October’s Amazon Synod, while fires were raging in the Amazon Rainforest.
“The Synod of the Amazon has really put fore-front the great threat towards the ecology in other worlds, ‘Laudato Si’, our common home,” explained Fr. Jordan.
The threats may seem far away, but they can be combated here at home.
Fr. Jordan noted that there are plenty of things New Yorkers can do to help the environment, like plant a tree or recycle.
“We can reduce the waste in this city which would enhance the quality of life in New York,” he said.
Environmental non-profit Big Reuse also suggests shopping at thrift stores, composting, using public transportation as often as possible and volunteering for various clean-up events.
But as Brother Bach explained, one of the biggest things people can do is talk about it.
“When people are having conversation, they’re going to think,” he said. “And then as they make decisions on recycling and make decisions on using disposable products, they’re going to think: How is this going to affect somebody?”