103. A catholic ecology
1. Our Catholic religion gives full rein to the temporal interest of the family, by recognising its correct place and its positive moral value, which stems from social justice and fraternal charity. If the morality of the Gospel calls Christ’s disciples to renounce themselves and to leave all in order to follow their Master, it is so that they may devote themselves, after His example, to the service of God and of neighbour, each in accordance with his natural situation and commitments.
2. Although ecology is a humanism, it nevertheless remains profoundly and almost necessarily Christian. It subordinates ecology to theology, economy to Catholic morality, inasmuch as the good family life finds its light and its strength, its necessary goal and rule, in the love of God and of one’s neighbour, in the quest for eternal salvation and the spirit of sacrifice, all with a view to a supernatural good. The Christian spirit and the life of religion are, therefore, not part and parcel of ecological science and economic practice, but they are indispensable external aids.
Not everything that can be done in the material interest of families is necessarily good or permissible for the salvation of souls. In this respect, economics and morality can be in opposition. But more often, it is morality that aids and supports economics. The superior light of faith, the energies of hope and charity, recourse to the Church’s prayer and sacraments, are necessary if individual egoism and the frenzy of passion are to yield to the interest of families, to the ideal of a happy communitarian life, defined and necessitated by a scientific ecology and economy ! Further proof that there is no humanism that is not Christian !
3. That is why « the social revolution that we desire will be moral or it will not be at all » (Soloviev, Péguy). It will be ecological, and therefore humanist, independent and open to every civilised man. It will nonetheless require supernatural light and Christian virtue for it to be defined and brought to fulfilment. Otherwise it will fail.