John Paul II: The Ecological Conversion
In his speech about the ‘ecological conversion’ Pope John II is basically saying that humans were put on the earth to look after everything on it. He says that God had a plan that we would live in harmony with our fellow creatures, with creation and with God. We were made in God’s image to reproduce and fill the earth as well as to control and have domain over the earth and every creature upon it. We were made in God’s image because he was the king of the universe and we were meant to follow in his example and govern the universe; from the beginning our nature was possibly even one of royalty. Man’s responsibility is defined in the Book of Wisdom as to govern ‘the world in holiness and justice’. An example of how we have continued this mission is by how we have named animals.
However John Paul II believes that this plan ‘was and is continually upset by human sin’. We have failed to continue the mission that God left us. This is evident where we have destroyed forests, polluted waters and the air, upset systems of the earth and introduced uncontrolled industrialisation everywhere. He says that therefore it is necessary to introduce and continue with the ‘ecological conversion’ which had made humans more aware of the problems that we are now facing. ‘Man is no longer a “minister” of the Creator’. However, people are not trying to concentrate on the problems they are facing but rather how they could be improved. Now the human ecology is in danger as well as the physical ecology and humans must consider the fact that there are other creatures that we have to protect. We must also protect the environment for future generations and live closer to the plan of God.