The Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) endorses the Pope’s call for systemic change, for an acknowledgement that we are one earth, and that human societies should stand together in calling for solutions to heal the earth, not endanger it.
SAFCEI, which is comprised of all the major faith groups in southern Africa, expresses support and enthusiasm for Pope Francis’ Encyclical, which explains how human life is grounded in three fundamental relationships: one with God, one with our neighbours, and one with the Earth, and that the relationship with the Earth has been ignored by Christian theology.
SAFCEI chairperson, Ms Tahiri Matthee of the Baha’i faith, responds: “We are all interconnected, and every action we take either positive or negative has some impact on our Earth.”
The Encyclical describes the ecological crisis, referring to the Earth that has been treated as simply material, to be abused and used for humanity’s greed. It describes how humanity has been encouraged to exploit creation with contempt. This attitude has been caused by the misinterpretation of the Christian doctrine. Human greed that blinds men and women to seeing the basic truth, that the happiness of an individual depends on their relationship to the Earth.
The ecological crisis is described as Ecological sin against God, our neighbour, and also future generations. We humans are inexorably threatening and destroying Earth’s life support system.
Download the full response here
(Picture courtesy of Flickr)