Modernist Catholic Action ecological document omits reference to Christ

Kaineder: Church must do more for ecological change

President of Katholische Aktion sees a greater challenge for the Church in environmental and climate protection: Must end "war on nature" and promote solidarity-based economy

The Catholic Church must work "much harder" for the ecological transformation of society and the economy. This is the conclusion drawn by the President of Catholic Action Austria (KAÖ), Ferdinand Kaineder, after participating in an ecclesial network meeting in Luxembourg on the Pope's encyclical "Laudato si" (24 May 2015). The environmental encyclical is "an anchor for a strong ecological transformation network", Kaineder expressed his conviction in a statement on Wednesday.

The decisive question, according to Kaineder, is whether we live in such a way "that we can place the end of our life, production and consumption processes in the cradle of the next generation?". Today's way of life is characterised by a throwaway culture; this "war against nature" must be ended. This requires a "radical break with the current growth paradigm", said the KAÖ President. In view of climate change, solidarity-based economy must become the new paradigm - and this is also a challenge for the Church.

In order to establish an "environmentally sound way of life", individual changes of attitude, networking, but also the corresponding "political and legal framework" are needed, said Kaineder. The basic concern of "Laudato si" is "that we move from a techno-technocratic to a social-ecological-spiritual view of the world and the human being", the KAÖ President emphasised.

It was important to open up "a positive approach to renunciation". For example, "asceticism is concentration on the essential", Kaineder explained. The goal must be to consciously reduce technogenic life and to replace the "non-essentials" again, for example through haptic experience of nature, conscious experience and manufacture, the lay representative suggested.

Kaineder was convinced that the transformation to a "lifestyle compatible with the environment" also requires networking. Humans have always depended on the sharing of goods. "It is no longer a question of position, but of linking, networking, relationships and encounters," which also enables the exchange of views and experiences and helps in the search for orientation.

At the meeting in Luxembourg, Kaineder presented, among other things, the KAÖ dossier "Ecological conversion and environmental justice". It describes measures taken by the Church in Austria in this area, such as diocesan environmental officers, sustainability guidelines for diocesan institutions and parishes, educational work and pastoral impulses.



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