The Ecological Crisis is a Spiritual Crisis

Saturday, November 22 1997

Vatican City (CCCB) — Archbishop André Gaumond of Sherbrooke, in an intervention at the Synod of Bishops’ Special Assembly for America , called the ecological crisis one of the great tragedies marking the end of the present millennium.

Archbishop Gaumond, past President of the Assemblée des évêques du Québec, said this crisis is an opportunity to re-evaluate the way in which humans relate to other beings and also to reconsider the world’s value, both for us and for God.

The Archbishop was responding to No. 27 of the Instrumentum Laboris that dealt in part with respect for nature and attentive consideration of ecological problems.

Archbishop Gaumond said “human beings are not primarily over and above all creatures, but among them and in relationship to them, for all living creatures come from the hand of God.”

In being creatures, human beings by their nature relate to other beings,” he continued. “The transcendence that characterizes the relationship of the human with other creatures is comparable to that of the gardener who is responsible for caring for all creation.”

Archbishop Gaumond concluded that “our earth is sacred because it comes from God. It is here that the Son of God chose to live. It is here that God is revealed, the One full of goodness who calls each creature into existence. Thus, we are called by God to be open to creativity and interdependence.”