Decree 20: “Ecology,” General Congregation 34 (1995)

The following is a recommendation made by the delegates of the 34th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus to their newly elected superior general. The decree, based on “many postulates” submitted on the topic, notes that Jesuits can “encourage both international awareness and local action” in the debate between ecology and development. It recommends that the superior general commission a study on the topic and share its findings to orientate “our way of proceeding.”

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1.     The contemporary debate between development and ecology is often posed as an opposition between First World desires and Third World needs; in fact the terms refer to many interrelated problems throughout the world. The Society of Jesus can contribute to overcoming some elements of the dilemma by encouraging both international awareness and local action. The many postulates received offer rich suggestions on this subject.

2.     This congregation recommends to Father General that a study be made regarding the following issues:

2, 1. How our Ignatian spirituality provides us with a foundation for a universal response

2, 2. How our apostolates can contribute in their specific ways, and also can further effective collaboration, and

2, 3. How this issue affects our lifestyle and the decisions that we make in our institutions

The results of this study should be communicated to the whole Society as an orientation for our way of proceeding.



Original Source (English translation):

Jesuit Life & Mission Today: The Decrees & Accompanying Documents of the 31st35th General Congregations of the Society of Jesus, ed. John W. Padberg. St. Louis, Mo.: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 2009, General Congregation 34, Decree 20, “Ecology,” pg. 637 [430–432].

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