Pope Francis, speaking to lawyers on Friday, announced the possibility of introducing a new sin into the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It’s about “ecological sin”.
The Holy Father spoke at an audience with participants of the Congress of the International Criminal Law Association. As the Polish correspondent of the Vatican radio station reports, during his long speech, Pope Francis touched upon, among others: issues of threats to democracy and the rule of law. The Holy Father said, among others: about attaching too little importance to crimes committed by large corporations or the inappropriate use of pre-trial detention. Francis pointed out that in some countries half of the prisoners are people held in this way.
Speaking about the challenges of today, Francis drew attention to the need to protect the environment. In this context, he referred to the previously announced possibility of updating the Catechism of the Catholic Church with the so-called ecological sin. He assured that as the head of the Church he thinks about it because it is so “a sin against our common home”.
The idea of a synod
Let us recall that the issue of ecology was strongly raised during the October synod of bishops on the Amazon. Vatican News reported that during one of the sessions, the deliberations stated that it was necessary “ecological conversion”that will enable Christians to understand “the importance of sin against the environment as a sin against God, neighbor and future generations”. “No to individualism or indifference that make us look at reality the way a viewer looks at a screen. Yes for an ecological conversion centered on responsibility and integral ecology, putting at the center human dignity, which is too often trampled on.” – we read in the summary of the meeting.
Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication, said at a press conference that bishops, observers and delegates of other Christian churches reported the need “a deep ecological conversion that moves from a technocratic paradigm to a caring paradigm”. He added that, according to one of the participants, Christianity is “a call to ecological morality, knowing that there are ecological sins that can also be defined as ecocide”.
The Catholic News Service portal reported that, according to one of the synod participants, the concept and impact “ecological sins” could be explained through catechesis and, above all, in the sacrament of penance. In the light of this theory, like other sins, sins committed against nature can be divided into “minor and more serious”. During the synod, a proposal was also made to introduce the so-called ecological canon, in the light of which the Church could consider disrespect for the natural environment or destruction of nature as a sin.