In "What about commercialization of holy days, religious holidays?" [exploreLI, Nov. 14], the Rev. Randolph Jon Geminder, who is Catholic, says "we must sometimes fit into society's needs," adding that a commercialized Christmas is "an economic engine for retail in America, and that's not an evil thing."

In his recent encyclical, Pope Francis spoke directly to this point. He said our consumer culture and economy severely tax the ecosystems of the planet, precipitating environmental and social crises such as climate change and mass migration.

We simply cannot afford to keep buying things we really don't need, which illustrates why purchasing is always a moral and not just an economic act. If the shop-'til-you-drop mentality is good for the economy but bad for the planet, then it is imperative that we question the meaning of the economy and its goals, such as continued growth.

Has our consumerism made us so short-sighted that we fail to see it is wrong to leave a damaged planet to our children? The upcoming holidays are about our spiritual beliefs. There is no better time to question our economic ones.

Joseph Bonasia, Smithtown