Recently Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace spoke to the Irish Bishops at the Trocaire 2015 Lenten Lecture. The Irish Bishops had just issued their "The Cry of the Earth" and the Irish development agency, Trocaire (Mercy in Irish), has been resolute in their Drop in the Ocean Campaign.
In this backdrop we also know that Cardinal Turkson helped work on the first draft of the Holy Father's encyclical on human ecology. Here the Cardinal points out that global inequality and the destruction of the environment are inter-related. The promotion of integral ecology is the relationship between development, concern for the poor and responsibility for the environment.
He outlines four principles of integral ecology reflected in the ministry and teaching of Pope Francis. They are:
- The call of all people to be protectors is integral and all embracing
- Care for creation is a virtue in its own right (relationship between nature and humanity)
- There is a necessity to care for what we cherish and revere (religious voice and sustainable development and environmental care)
- The call to dialogue and a new global solidarity based on the fundamental pillars that govern a nation. (Everyone has a part to play)
In light of this there is speculation that the Cardinal's talk could provide a sneak peek in outline form to Pope Francis will issue in his next encyclical letter.