Laudato Si and Faithful Citizenship

Millennial writer Daniel DiLeo has a new article at Political Theology Today. He writes:

The Catholic tradition describes conscience as “the most secret core and sanctuary” of a person wherein she discovers God’s law of love and is moved to discerningly “love good and avoid evil” (Gaudium et Spes #16). In order to judge rightly, each person has the responsibility to form his or her conscience. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops outline, conscience formation entails four dynamics: openness “to the truth and what is right”; on-going study of Scripture and Tradition; examination of objective facts, data, and options; and prayerful reflection.

In view of conscience formation in the Catholic tradition, it seems that Laudato Si’ can be especially integrated into the second, third, and fourth phases of this process. At the second stage, Catholics might regularly read, study, and pray over the encyclical. In doing so, persons can come to appreciate the deep wisdom which Francis communicates: the intrinsic goodness and dignity of creation of which humans are part (#65); humanity’s unique vocation to “cultivate and care for” creation as both part of and apart from it (#67; Cf. Genesis 2:15); awareness that ecological degradation stems from sin understood as broken relationships with God, others and creation (##8, 66); the moral obligation to “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (#49); and the need for integrated responses to ecological challenges (#139).

At the third stage of conscience formation, Catholics can both learn from Francis’ analysis of objective data and be inspired to similarly seek unbiased information….

At the fourth stage of conscience formation, Catholics can use the aforementioned reflections to discern how to exercise faithful citizenship.

You can read the full article here.