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Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ is a game-changing document for the life of the Church and the ecological health of this planet. A Catholic vision is deficient if it does not include the earth and its life-forms. Loving one’s neighbour must include loving the planetary neighbourhood in which all live. For its part, the ‘integral ecology’ on which the Pope insists must include the dimensions of mind and heart, science and art, faith and the whole spiritual life of culture. Here, the great theological themes animating the Catholic vision, play their part as ever-renewable resources: the Creator and the gift of creation,, the incarnation of the Word amongst us, the inexhaustible life of the Trinity itself, the Eucharist as communion with Christ in the here and now of earthly life, just as ‘Sister Death’ must be given her place for the sake of ecological and eschatological realism. Integral ecology and Catholic vision are two sides of the conversion of mind and heart necessary to promote the communion of life now, and in the world to come.
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