From Disconnection to Reconnection

Young adult Zachary Grant (program director of the CSJ Justice Ministry) spoke about “From Disconnection to Reconnection – Human Relationships in Action” on October 24, 2016. This Theology on Tap evening at the Duke of York gathered 70 young adults. The topic, near and dear to Pope Francis, heightened our awareness of society’s prevalent extractive ideology and its impacts on God’s creation.

Zachary shared his views on extractive ideology; an ideology in which the world is a commodity and profit trumps human relationships and care for the environment. At the beginning of his talk, he acknowledged aboriginal groups whose land the pub now stands on. This set the tone for the conversation.

Grant shared a few examples, both in Canada and in the world, of how corporations, water and fishing companies, miners and cattle ranchers have been going into communities creating water shortages, decimating fish populations and cutting down trees thereby impacting the physical environment as well as affecting the wellbeing of people living there. These “extractions” create instability in these communities, displacing people and breaking communities apart.

Grant reminds us of Pope Francis’ call to care for creation (environment and people) by rejecting extractive ideology. God is in each one of us; with this knowledge, love, tenderness and kindness prevail. When God’s creation is seen as a commodity, the protection of life and beauty are thwarted. Thus, it is imperative that we turn away from disconnection and seek to connect with the earth and our brothers and sisters. Zachary concluded with the same prayer which had begun the evening: a prayer entitled ‘a prayer for our earth’ which concludes Pope Francis' encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ calling for solidarity and action.

Reflection by Patricia Soscia
Photo by Au Ching