A useful concept and a clarifying name from Pope Francis: People worry about the state of the natural environment, he observed. But they also need to worry about the social environment. Family breakdown, rampant immorality, and materialistic hedonism damage what he calls the “human ecology.”
From Kathleen Parker, Pope calls for family resurrection – The Washington Post:
In his comments to the colloquium, attended by religious leaders from various theologies and countries, the pope talked not of sin or judgment but rather of concern for what he characterizes as disruptions to the human ecology. His argument sounded more secular/scientific than religious, not that these are mutually exclusive.“We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment,” he said. “This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.”
The result, he said, has been to create an ecological crisis for social environments that need protection just as natural environments do.
“And although the human race has come to understand the need to address conditions that menace our natural environments, we have been slower to recognize that our fragile social environments are under threat as well. . . . It is therefore essential that we foster a new human ecology.”
A new human ecology — what a concept.