In this video Fr. Robert Gahl talks about “Integral Human Development.”
Integral human development is a new concept that’s being used in ethics. It has even found its way into Church teaching through Pope Francis, who used the term in his encyclical Laudato si’.
The Italian title of this encyclical translates in English to “Praise Be.” It is a reference to a quote from St. Francis of Assisi, by which he meant to communicate that we must all praise God through the goodness of His creation. “Integral human development” is based on the sacred dignity of human beings. Specifically, it refers to the fact that we must promote the development of each human being so that we might all achieve our final goal of flourishing through union with our Creator. This expansive scope of our duty entails that we must not only care for all human beings alive today, but also for future generations. The central importance of promoting the development of future persons is the basis for environmentalism. We have to take care of the environment so that our grandchildren will have the resources they need to flourish.
Fr. Robert Gahl is an Associate Professor of Ethics at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross and a member of the Thomas International Board of Directors.