Dominican needs some spiritual guidance on paving over nature

Opinion

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I am dismayed by the attitude and actions of Dominican University in its stand on taking a unique, natural area and paving it over for use as a parking lot driveway.

The destruction of nature, in part a legacy of American expansionism, cannot be justified in this age and time. An organization that identifies itself as both educational and religious should acknowledge its responsibility as a steward of the natural world.

While customer convenience is important to any business, it is not only unnecessary, but spiritually questionable, to sacrifice biodiversity for its sake.

I suggest that Dominican's administration review some of the following for spiritual guidance. Pope John Paul II, in his message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, stated that the destruction of animal and plant life, even if carried out in the name of progress, is ultimately a disadvantage, and that we cannot continue to use the goods of the earth as we have in the past.

Dominican University should also investigate the writing of the respected theologian, Fr. Thomas Berry, who spoke several years ago at the American Association for the Advancement of Science sponsored Epic of Evolution conference of scientists, ethicists, and theologians at the Field Museum of Chicago. More recently he spoke at a conference sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph in La Grange. Dominican University might also review their own Theology and Ecology 362 class which, according to its listing, explores the religious understanding of nature as "Creation, the biblical tradition of Covenant and Stewardship as ecological partnership."

Is this parking lot issue even being considered by the Theology and Ecology departments?

As a Catholic and former student of a Catholic university, I question Dominican University's dedication to its religious foundations. They seem unwilling to achieve a solution to their business problem that is in line with the very theology espoused within their in situation.

Mary J. Cray
Riverside

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