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Question 30

Hi Father  According to our church's teaching and to Christian teaching in general, not only is God the creator of the universe, He also sustains His creation. Even in the gospels Christ refers to God sending His sun on the good and the bad and His rain on the just and unjust. Obviously a hole in the ozone layer is as a result of man's actions. Therefore this begs the question, are freakish weather conditions such as tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes caused or allowed by God or are they the results of sinful mankind abusing his environment? Also bearing in mind that we've always had freakish weather conditions to a certain extent.



Answer to Question 30


 One of the questions people often ask is “Why does God allow earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, floods and other disasters, which man has no control over, to kill so many people?”  To this question there are at least two answers and man is the cause of both.


The first involves the creation story. The world belongs to God, but it was created for man who God appointed as king of creation. When Adam fell from grace, all creation fell with him and is also suffering the consequences of man’s fall, for as St. Paul says: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22) Since the fall of man the whole created order is in some sense ‘out of order’ at a cosmic level. The explanation therefore is that if Adam had not fallen, the world would have not fallen with him.


Natural disasters are the result of the physical world suffering in its fallen state and only man is to blame because with his fall he brought down all of creation which was created for him. 


The second answer again involves man, and in a more deliberate and destructive role. Man is continually exploiting, destroying and polluting his physical environment and resources with devastating consequences.  Is God to blame for the fact that governments and private companies have become exploiters and criminal abusers of our natural resources? Is God to blame for the fact that we have turned our very nature against us by ignoring its occasional warnings about the misery that our thoughtless actions are doing? Is God to blame for the systematic disregard of natural laws, for our greedy indifference to whether our children in the years to come will breathe in fresh air, and all so as not to affect the enormous economic interests of the great powers and multinational corporations? 


The "paradise" shores that were hit by the tsunami a few years ago were created by cutting down thousands of trees in the coastal zone in order to build, on the seaside, luxury hotels and paradise beaches to attract foreign tourists. This was a crime against the environment and against the natives all for the sake of money. If the trees were in place they would have acted as a natural boundary taking the force of the waves and saving thousands of lives? Is God then to blame for this negligence or human greed?


Environmental issues like air and water pollution, depletion of non-renewable resources, destruction of the ozone layer, increasing nuclear radiation, deforestation and desertification of vast areas, etc. threaten the life itself on this planet. The gifts of science and technology are being misused by human beings to the extent of abusing nature and turning today's life on earth into a hell, not only for the many millions of existing people but also for the generations to come. The voice of those who call for a just development, equal distribution of resources and ecological lifestyles is being systematically suppressed.