Church teachings on sustainable mining: Shared responsibility – by Bernardo M. Villegas (Business World – July 3, 2024)


The final chapter of the encyclical Laudato Si focuses on the primordial importance of environmental education. Here, every single individual must be involved, especially the young. This education has to affect actions and daily habits, the reduction of water consumption, the sorting of waste, and even turning off unnecessary lights and, among the well-to-do, air-conditioning units.

An integral ecology is also made up of simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation, and selfishness. As Pope Francis proposed in Evangelium Gaudium, sobriety, when lived freely and consciously, is liberating, just as happiness means knowing how to limit some needs which only diminish us, and being open to the many different possibilities which life can offer. In this way we must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it.

To put this into practice, each individual must add to his regular examination of conscience a new dimension. He or she must reflect seriously on how one has lived in communion, not only with God, with others, and with oneself, but also with all creatures and with nature. In this regard, the Japanese people are the foremost examples.

Whether in taking public transport, going to theaters, shopping in a mall, watching football games in the World Cup, the typical Japanese individual is always considering how his or her individual behavior is impacting the welfare of his or her neighbor. I saw this with my own eyes in a recent trip I made to Tokyo.

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