We in New York City received a valuable lesson this week on the principles of solidarity and Creation Care. Two principles of Catholic Social Teaching that were observed with the eerie smoky atmosphere that engulfed our city. Solidarity in Catholic social teaching is a principle reminding us that we are all interconnected. What affects one affects us all and we are all morally responsible for one another. Creation Care (typically called the Integrity of Creation) is the principle that recognizes our moral responsibility for taking care of Creation.
A few weeks ago, many of us heard about the massive forest fires affecting Canada. I certainly knew about and reacted in much the same way as I would react to natural disasters affecting Asia, the Caribbean or other distant parts of the globe. But the difference for many of us was the way this affected us this week. My pictures above testify to the damaged and dangerous air quality that became part of our experience. For those who suffer from asthma, and other respiratory conditions, this situation became a health hazard.
This natural event testifies to the reality of solidarity in nature. Sr. Ruth Bolarte tells us as the Body of Christ we must recognize that “when one part of the body suffers the whole body suffers.” The image of the Body of of Christ reminds us that we are one human family. Cardinal Tagle tells us in the video below that: