Eco-Theology as the Constant Task for the Christians

Faculty professor of DLMPES and UCU Fr Oleh Kindiy and DLMPES’ Coordinator Fr Roman Fihas took part at the annual International Conference “Theology of Nature: Divine Gift and Human Responsibility” in Utrecht (the Netherlands) organized in the frame of the DELM-network (Development of Ecumenical Leadership in Mission) by ICCO-Kerk in Actie and St. Andrew’s Biblical Theological Institute.

The conference dedicated to a theme Theology of Nature tried to analyze the current state of the eco-theologies in different contexts and Christian traditions. A lot was said about developing a new approach that sees nature as God’s fully-fledged creation, in no respect inferior to the human being and not an object of human manipulation. Representatives of Kerk in Actie joyfully shared their rich practical experience with the participants concerning different eco-initiatives spread in the Netherlands and outside. Dutch Churches from the beginning headed the national movement for the ecological development of the country and achieved many positive results in this area.

Fr Oleh Kindiy in his speech titled Ecological Conversion of the Church and in the Church: Laudato Si’ and the “Evolution” of Eco-theology of the Catholic Church recognized the ecumenical value of the Pope’s encyclical. The contributions of the previous popes John Paull II and Benedict XVI were admitted as well. The speaker stressed an important meaning of the encyclical for the whole Christian world and appreciated the integral view of pope Francis on the ecological issues.

Participants of the Conference had a possibility to listen the different outstanding scholars, had time for vivid discussions and also time for sharing in small groups. They realized that Christians should not underestimate the meaning of the ecological task of the Church today. The ecological crisis, challenging us, could stimulate the Christians towards fraternal cooperation, ecological conversion and reinterpretation of our theologies. The common task to care for the world brings us together to feel our responsibility for the God’s given creation.

Ecumenism, says Fr Roman, is about changing, which happens with us while sharing. Therefore, most of the participant testified the high standard of the organized conference and fruitful congenial atmosphere among the participants, who came from the different countries and represented different Christian denominations.