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Vatican publishes overview of church teaching on environment

Official Catholic teaching on the environment is based on the belief that creation is a gift of God that must be protected, used responsibly and shared equitably, said a new Vatican book.

Under Pope John Paul II the teaching has developed, uniting spirituality with morality and addressing concrete problems, including population growth, access to water, development and the impact of genetic manipulation, said the book, released on Wednesday.

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace published the book, an overview of church teaching on environmental issues, in preparation for the United Nations' World Summit on Sustainable Development, which begins on Monday in South Africa.

"From Stockholm to Johannesburg: An Historical Overview of the Concern of the Holy See for the Environment", focused on statements from 1972 to 2002, but also traced the beginnings of modern Catholic moral concern for the environment to the Second Vatican Council.

Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Johannesburg Summit 2002


23 Aug 2002