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The 'Preferential Option for the Poor': An Opportunity and a Challenge for Environmental Decision-Making

1 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2009  

Lucia Ann Silecchia

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

The doctrine of 'the preferential option for the poor' has deep roots in Catholic social thought. It proposes that the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable be given priority when creating and evaluating public policies, actions, and attitudes. More recently, the obligation to care for natural environment in an ethical way has been gaining more attention both in the secular world as well as among Catholic scholars who seek to explore the scope of human responsibility for the created world. This paper explores the intersection of the preferential option for the poor and environmental ethics. After a general discussion of the preferential option for the poor, the paper traces six traditional Catholic principles of environmental ethics and explores the ways in which eachis inextricably intertwined with the preferential option.

Suggested Citation

Silecchia, Lucia Ann, The 'Preferential Option for the Poor': An Opportunity and a Challenge for Environmental Decision-Making (2008). University of St. Thomas Law Journal, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2008; CUA Columbus School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-7. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1441935

Lucia Ann Silecchia (Contact Author)

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://law.cua.edu/fac_staff/SilecchiaL/

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