Popularly referred to as the "Climate Change Encyclical", Laudato Sí broadensenvironmental consciousness. Aware of the connections characterizing humanity, nature and environment, Pope Francis applies an "Integral Ecology" to his description of the current situation. The preferential option for the poor includes the natural world "among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor" (Laudato Sí, 158).
As a person of deep faith, he counters the surrender to apathy, ignorance and impotence with an urgent appeal for people to take action.
One of the Salvadoran martyrs, Ignacio Martín Baro, S.J., wrote in his work "Towards a Liberation Psychology":
"What is needed is for our most basic assumptions in psychological thought to be revised from the bottom up. But this revision cannot be made from our offices; it has to come from a praxis that is committed to the poor."
A revisionary effort "from the bottom up" challenges us to examine basic assumptions. The "Integral Ecology" of Pope Francis incorporates assumptions regarding the environment, impoverished by human action and inaction, and assumptions regarding the the poor, estranged and marginalized at the bottom of global society. This is sustained by what Daniel Horan refers to as an "Integral Economy", the social, political and economic support of our "common home".
An "integral ecology" eschews the dualism that has characterized and deformed so much of our philosophy and theology.
The world view of the Hebrew culture as experienced by Jesus the Christ differs from the Graeco world view. That is why, in the New Testament Gospel accounts, emphasis was placed on the physical miracles of healing and the Christ's response to lepers and other marginalized people. The announcement of the love of God was made manifest by restoring the body to wholeness..The Kingdom of God is for the whole Self, for all persons, and all nature.
The Graeco world view was introduced to Christian Spirituality in the writings of Paul of Tarsus, as he strove to adapt the Good News to a gentile audience. What evolved was Christianity adopting a world view that separates the spiritual from the material, body from soul, sacred from profane.
The dichotomy is reinforced by a paternalism that came to dominate society. There are the social divisions of free and slave, powerful and powerless, privileged and needy, included and marginalized, reinforced by class and caste. The perduring sins that are the consequence of all of this is the poverty that holds captive the majority of humanity and a sense of dominance to pillage the environment.
Boundaries and Borders
Borders are imaginary lines drawn on a map with tremendous implications. To cross from the U.S. to Mexico, a journey of just a few feet, is to enter a world entirely different from whence one came. One side of the border is street food, color, flowers, music; the other, briefcases and business suits, paved streets, and fast food. Crossing Borders (Atravesando Fronteras) can be, at the same time, frightening and exhilarating, dangerous and enriching.
Ideally, borders define a territory to enable self-governance and to keep out undesirable elements. However, sometimes borders insulate and isolate the citizenry. Sometimes borders become impenetrable and mutually hostile. War and conflict are waged over lines in the sand.
In a fast-shrinking world, the distinction between borders and boundaries needs to be clear. Borders define the extent of a geographical area. Boundaries serve a vital cultural and social function.
Borders are rigid, whereas boundaries flex to adapt to development and change.
This is similar to the function boundaries serve in families. Appropriate boundaries between family members define and protect vital family roles and family integrity. Boundaries adapt to the changing developmental or health needs of family members. When families establish overly permeable boundaries around themselves, safety is compromised and confusion undermines secure identity. When boundaries become too rigid, development is stunted and vitality suffers.
Sometimes boundaries are made into borders. The Coronavirus pandemic necessitated the tightening of personal boundaries for social well-being. There are borders we erect between one another, that may be based on prejudice, class consciousness, suspiciousness.
Conflicts between spouses become divorces. Conflicts between families become hostile communities. Conflicts between territories (often over natural resources) become nations. Once proud and free Native Americans are confined to reservations. Conflicts over environmentally fragile areas are resolved in behalf of the despoiler with the stroke of a presidential pen.
When we minimize proximate danger to the natural world because rain forests, receding ice packs, or habitat destruction are far away from our borders; when bloodshed blurs the borders between countries; when borders keep contained desperation and poverty; where walls are built as a symbol of resistance to immigration or asylum: we need to reexamine the commitment to borders. We can expand boundaries of awareness; we can open boundaries of global conviviality; we can adapt to boundaries of trust, concession, compassion and the ability to change.
 Pope Francis employs the Christian description of God as Trinity as the analogical referent of the ontological integration of the animate and inanimate world
 "What we need is an 'integral economy", National Catholic Reporter, April 3-16, 2020; pg 12