Benedict XVI and the Cosmic Covenant

After the widespread attention that Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical on care for creation has garnered over the past several years, the extensive concern paid by previous pontiffs to the subject risks fading into distant memory. Yet, long before environmental stewardship became the subject of Laudato Si’, Pope Paul VI predicted a looming “ecological catastrophe” (Address of November 16, 1970, §3), and Pope John Paul II urged the faithful to embark on a journey of “ecological conversion” (General Audience of January 17, 2001, §4). For his part, Pope Benedict XVI made the environment such a consistent theme of reflection throughout his pontificate that his remarks were sufficient to comprise an entire book.

The heart of Benedict’s environmental vision is his intriguing proclamation that there exists a “covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying.” Here’s my recent written attempt to tease out the meaning of this theme and its biblical foundations at Church Life Journal.  

Here also is the enjoyable interview on the subject that I recently did on the EWTN / Ave Maria Radio Kresta in the Afternoon show. 


Matthew Ramage



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