Pope Francis wants us to step off the escalator
“Cardinal Vincent Nichols has said that people should not regard the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’ as ‘puritanical’ in its message. Asked about the encyclical’s appeal for ‘sobriety and sself-denial’, Cardinal Nichols said people needed to go beyond reading the encyclical in a ‘puritanical way’. He continued by saying that Pope Francis wanted the faithful to recognise that when it comes to consumerism ‘less is better’ and that being trapped on an escalator where you ‘always want more’ is not a ‘happy escalator’.
Do I need this?
Cardinal Nichols also said that the encyclical made clear that when we purchase an object we make an ethical choice and that individuals should ask themselves: ‘Do I need this?’ In Laudato Si’ the Pope says: ‘A constant flood of new consumer goods can baffle the heart and prevent us from cherishing each thing and each moment.’
The Cardinal was speaking at a press conference at Our Lady and St Joseph’s Catholic primary school in Poplar, East London. He said the location had been chosen as a reminder that we have an obligation gation to care for the earth for the sake of future generations, and also because the school was specifically designed in an environmentally friendly way.
A thoroughly Catholic document
Cardinal Nichols described the Pope’s encyclical as a ‘thoroughly Catholic document’ that was consistent with the teachings of former popes, and because it is focused on the ‘dignity and the calling of the human person’. The cardinal also described this text as a teaching document that is ‘essentially ethical in its challenge’ and encourages dialogue, and is ‘centred on the work of God and how it comes to fulfilment in the Person of Jesus.'”
– This article was copied off the one published in the “Catholic Herald” newspaper, issue June 26 2015. For the online-version and subscriptions, please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).