Care for God's creation is the seventh and final key theme of Catholic social teaching.
A Biblical vision of justice is much more comprehensive than civil equity; it encompasses right relationships between all members of God’s creation. Stewardship of creation: The world's goods are available for humanity to use only under a "social mortgage" which carries with it the responsibility to protect the environment. The "goods of the earth" are gifts from God, and they are intended by God for the benefit of everyone. Man was given dominion over all creation as sustainer rather than as exploiter, and is commanded to be a good steward of the gifts God has given him. We cannot use and abuse the natural resources God has given us with a destructive consumer mentality.
Catholic Social Teaching recognizes that the poor are the most vulnerable to environmental impact and endure disproportional hardship when natural areas are exploited or damaged. US Bishops established an environmental justice program to assist parishes and dioceses who wanted to conduct education, outreach and advocacy about these issues. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops Environmental Justice Program (EJP) calls Catholics to a deeper respect for God’s creation and engages parishes in activities that deal with environmental problems, particularly as they affect the poor.
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