Catholic Teaching on Immigration
“The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.”
Catholic social teaching, Pope Francis, and our bishops teach that we all share the responsibility of tending, caring, and healing our planet. We do this out of respect for God’s commands and His creation. While doing so, we help the poor, who suffer the most from abuses of God’s creation.
- Pope Francis says: “Nurturing and cherishing creation is a command God gives not only at the beginning of history, but to each of us.”
- Our Bishops call for action to mitigate global climate change based on social and economic justice.
- Our Catechism teaches us to avoid disordered use of things in contempt of the Creator, causing disastrous consequences for us and the environment.
When you think of creation, envision all of nature -- everything that exists in the universe.
- The Bible states in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth.”
- From the very first line, and throughout the Bible, God is the ultimate creator of everything that exists.
- Creation includes the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, and your general environment – to cultivate and care for.
- “God also said: I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food!” (Genesis 1:21), and “The LORD God gave the man this order: You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil!” (Genesis 2:16-17).
- “God saw that it was good!”
- How do you see it?
Creation is not a single event; it is a very dynamic process that is ongoing and evolutionary.
- Our universe came into being some 13.7 billion years ago.
- Our earth was formed some 4.5 billion years ago.
- Primitive life began to emerge some 4 billion years ago.
- Modern man emerged some 50,000 years ago.
Today, the part of creation that concerns us most (our current home) faces challenges.
- Ecological challenges to preserve clean air, water and habitat.
- Human challenges to ensure adequate housing, healthcare, education, jobs, and peace between peoples.
Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si, addresses many of the ecological problems of today and offers the following words of encouragement:
- “God … offers us the light and the strength to continue on our way.
- In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present.
- He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitely to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him!”
How do you cultivate and care for God's creation – including His creatures?