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Journal of Catholic Social Thought

Volume 18, Issue 2, Summer 2021

Tebaldo Vinciguerra
Pages 269-281

Contributive Justice and Ecology
A Contribution after the Encyclicals Laudato si’ and Fratelli tutti

This paper reflects the viewpoint of a member of the ecology and creation desk of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Contributive justice is proposed as a beacon that should guide all actions that aim to address the injustices in the world—chiefly, the challenges related to natural resources and the care for the environment. This care requires an enabling context: being cautious with the meritocratic narrative; implementing good governance; avoiding a paternalist stance according to which one relies totally on the state’s action and, instead, going beyond what is a strictly legal requirement and even beyond reciprocity for the sake of solidarity and for protecting the commons. In conclusion, genuine gratuitousness—in this case, as applied to water management—is presented as a key contribution for society. The text is rooted in the recent magisterium and in the 50-year-old synodal document Justice in the World.

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