The Catholic Church, Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, 21 Apr 2023.
“Pope Francis' Message for the 2023 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation was released on Thursday, 25 May. This year's theme is: 'Let Justice and Peace Flow', inspired by the words of the prophet Amos: 'Let justice flow on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.'
“The Pope begins by noting that: ‘God wants justice to reign; it is as essential to our life as God's children made in his likeness as water is essential for our physical survival.’…
"’Let us raise our voices to halt this injustice towards the poor and towards our children, who will bear the worst effects of climate change. I appeal to all people of goodwill to act in conformity with these perspectives on society and nature.’…
“[Pope Francis] upholds the strength of communion of countless local Churches, each of whom has a unique and irreplaceable contribution to make, and he prays that the Holy Spirit may guide our efforts to ‘renew the face of the earth.’…"
Independent Catholic News, Source: Vatican News, 25 May 2023. See full article at https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/47243
“As COP27 begins, CAFOD says that poor communities are being ‘failed’ by world leaders as reports emerged that the UK is pursuing deals with the USA for more fossil fuels….
“Catholic UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres … hit out at the “rank deception” of fossil fuel firms with net zero pledges who are still expanding their operations….
“Cardinal Pietro Parolin also delivered a message on behalf of Pope Francis at COP27, stating that world leaders have ‘a moral obligation’ to act seriously and together to safeguard the planet and to offer concrete aid to people suffering the ‘more frequent and more serious humanitarian impacts caused by climate change.’
“The cardinal told world leaders that ‘the growing phenomenon of migrants being displaced’ by climate change is something they must act on because currently ‘they lack access to international protection’ recognising them as deserving special care.
“The news comes as a new poll shows that nearly 60% of Catholics believe the government has done too little to tackle climate change in the last year….
“Lead Bishop for the Environment and CAFOD chair Bishop John Arnold has challenged the UN climate summit attendees to develop solutions to the ‘defining challenge of our generation’….
“Bishop Arnold called for ‘those most in need’ to be prioritised.
“’We know that the world faces a financial crisis but we hope that governments can come to a solution where those most in need are put at the top of the agenda, with those who have caused the climate crisis providing their fair share,’ he said.
“’For too long, we have been reliant on fossil fuels which are causing devastation to communities around the world. I pray the government and world leaders will seize this opportunity and invest in renewable energy so we can protect our planet for future generations.’
“Campaigners are demanding rich countries commit at COP27 to set up and contribute towards a ‘loss and damage fund’, meaning the countries that have historically polluted the most provide financial support to countries that have contributed least to the climate crisis but are being hardest hit….”
Used with permission, Universe Catholic Weekly, Andy Drozdziak, 10 Nov 2022
For a complete version of this article, visit the following web link:
“For the first time, Pope Francis has published in advance his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which is celebrated every September 1. It marks the beginning of the Season of Creation, an ecumenical period that unites Christians to pray and take action for our common home.
“What does the message say? We summarize it in four key points:
“A time to cultivate our ecological conversion
“The Pope defines the Season of Creation as ‘an opportunity to cultivate our “ecological conversion”’, recalling this concept encouraged by St. John Paul II as a response to the 'ecological catastrophe' announced by St. Paul VI as early as 1970.
“In this way, he invites all Christians during this time to "pray once more in the great cathedral of creation, and revel in the ‘grandiose cosmic choir’ made up of countless creatures, all singing the praises of God"….
“Sweet song and bitter cry
“Listening to creation, Francis mentions that there is a ‘kind of dissonance’: ‘On the one hand, we can hear a sweet song in praise of our beloved Creator; on the other, an anguished plea, lamenting our mistreatment of this our common home’.
“In this regard, the Executive Director of Laudato Si' Movement, Tomás Insua, mentioned: ‘The sweet song of creation is mixed with its bitter cry, as evidenced by the intense heat wave that is experienced in much of the northern hemisphere and that has already killed, only in Spain and Portugal, more than 1000 people or has left 5 million people without water in Monterrey, Mexico’….
“A warning message ahead of the COPs
“Ahead COP 27 on climate (Egypt, November 2022) and COP 15 on biodiversity (Canada, December 2022) Francis recalls in his message the importance of ‘promoting the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement’, as recently ratified by the Holy See….
“Four key principles for biodiversity
“Pope Francis also uses his message to call on nations to halt the further collapse of the ‘web of life’ - biodiversity - pointing to four principles:
Independent Catholic News, Source: Laudato Si’ Movement, 21 July 2022, https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/45137
“1 SEPTEMBER- 4 OCTOBER 2022: SEASON OF CREATION
“Pope Francis' Message for the celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation - to be held on 1 September 2022 - was published on 16 July. It has been a unique time that has seen various parts of the world devastated by the fires that have destroyed much of the planet's green areas.
“… Europe has been faced with a genuine environmental catastrophe that, in 97% of cases, is attributable to the actions of man. In the 27 countries within the European Union, according to a recent estimate, fires have already devastated a total of 517,881 hectares since the beginning of the year, compared to 470,359 the previous year.
“It is worrying, moreover, that scholars are already hypothesising the transition from our era (Anthropocene) to the next one, to which they have already given the name "pyrocene", the effects of which are already visible ….
“To all this must be added the enormous… damage to the environment caused by the ongoing wars in Ukraine as well as in other areas of the planet. As early as the 1960s, the term "ecocide" was coined in the wake of the military campaign in Vietnam. Since then, attention to the effects of wars on the environment has grown. One should not forget the heavy air pollution caused by the burning of oil installations in Kuwait during the Gulf War (1990-1991), and the wars in Yemen and Syria with the contamination of soil and waterways. Ukrainian experts currently estimate that the long-term effects of this conflict may cause cancer, respiratory diseases and developmental delay in children.
“But, if the hand of man is the main cause of this current situation, it also bodes well that the same hand can find a resolution to all of this. And it is here that the Message of the Holy Father Francis takes on great importance: not a pious exhortation, but a real challenge launched to the powerful of the earth and to the leaders of the individual nations (be they rich or poor)…. This, added to his appeal to attitudes of conversion that are concrete on the part of all Christians, so that we may be that hand capable of putting a stop to a destruction that is foretold.
“Thus, the next World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, as well as the entire Season of Creation, which, from 1 Sep., will stretch until 4 Oct., can be a time of prayer, but also a time of serious conversion of attitudes and habits.
“We, European Bishops, join the appeal launched by Pope Francis, inviting all Christians to be spokesmen for these demands of the Planet, whose voice reveals "a kind of dissonance. On the one hand, we can hear a sweet song in praise of our beloved Creator; on the other, an anguished plea, lamenting our mistreatment of this our common home".
“May the Lord hear this cry and grant mankind a new heart, capable of showing compassion to the whole of creation, so that concrete gestures may be put in place to allow all creatures to return to praise the Creator and us to join in this ‘”grandiose cosmic choir” made up of countless creatures, all singing the praises of God’".
Independent Catholic News, Source: Bishops of Europe, 21 Aug 2022, https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/45326
“As Christians, we are called to express the restoring justice of God. We are to 'learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression' (Is. 1:17). Seeking justice means working in solidarity with those who are suffering the worst effects of the climate emergency, one of the biggest crises of our time. The Anglican Communion's efforts to address the climate crisis cannot be separated from God's call for Christians to live justly.
“People across the globe - particularly in the majority world - have been living through the destructive consequences of the climate emergency for decades. Many of the worst-affected countries are simultaneously dealing with poverty, conflict, and the hangovers of colonial violence, and are being pushed further into debt as the heavy toll of the climate crisis falls upon them. As a global Christian community, we need to collaborate and support each other in fellowship: a fellowship of faith and a fellowship of climate justice. We ask the Anglican Communion urgently to prioritise collaborative climate justice.
“The 2022 IPCC (Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change) report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability concluded that breaching 1.5°C of warming 'would cause unavoidable increases in multiple climate hazards and present multiple risks to ecosystems and humans'. These impacts will be far from equally felt, with 'vulnerability higher in locations with poverty, governance challenges and limited access to basic services and resources, violent conflict and high levels of climate-sensitive livelihoods'.
“However, the IPCC also concluded that we are not powerless: we can substantially limit human-caused climate change by taking the recommended pathway to net zero, which includes significant decarbonisation by 2030. As part of that pathway, the International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded that 'there is no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply'. Despite this, just eight companies are planning over 200 oil and gas expansion projects between 2022 and 2025 - this includes ExxonMobil, who were found to be grossly insufficient on all ten minimum assessment criteria for alignment with 1.5°C warming, and from whom the Church Commissioners of the Church of England recently refused to divest.
“We want to see tangible action from the Church in the immediate future, and we join our voices with those of you at the Conference who are calling for justice. We ask the Church to:
Independent Catholic News, Young Christian Climate Network, 3 Aug 2022, https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/45218
“The impact of climate change on our world is now evident to all. Scientists have been warning us about the implications for decades - and now we're seeing them. We should have acted years ago, but we didn't. Every further day without radical action increases the pain we will sustain and the challenge of controlling the climate and its impact on people and planet.
“In the run-up to COP27, a mass participation initiative is happening around the world to catalyse climate action by creating an opportunity to learn from each other, build solidarity, and make important connections. Participants are welcome from all countries and across the key stakeholder groups of governments and cities, companies, NGOs, students, faith groups, and friends and family.
“Walk2COP27 is an opportunity to get people moving wherever they are - a collaborative 45-day journey where participants can track their distances walked, run, cycled or travelled in a wheelchair and interact with communities of like-minded people. Every kilometre travelled means more trees planted….
“Walk2COP27 starts on 22nd September 2022. The 45-day virtual journey features 12 locally hosted town hall-hybrid meetings between Glasgow (COP26) and Sharm el-Sheikh (COP27), showcasing how climate change is impacting each location and the solutions that are being deployed. The town halls will be hosted in the 12 countries between the two COP hosts - Scotland and Egypt. The 12 are: Scotland, England, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. People can join these gatherings online, or in person.
“Participant-led discussions on climate action, spanning the four target outcomes of decarbonisation, resilience, justice and circularity will be hosted on the Clubhouse app between the town hall gatherings.
“In the final week of the journey, the voices of all participants will be recorded and synthesised into a proclamation for the COP27 attendees….
“The communities built, discussions held, commitments made, health and wellbeing enhanced, voices raised, and trees planted all make this initiative an opportunity worth joining in the battle against climate change.
“Participants can register for free on an app (atlasGO) from the 1st of September, join their team and start to plan for the kick-off on the 22nd of September.
“Raise your voice for climate action. Get moving. Walk. Talk. Act. Together we can.
“As the African proverb says: When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. When is the next best time? Today.”
Independent Catholic News, Virginia Bell, 11 Aug 2022, https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/45261
“Displaying green hearts alongside allies from organisations across the climate movement is a way for Catholics to echo both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
“Last year, CAFOD supporters mobilised in huge numbers to bring this message to our government and world leaders ahead of COP26….
“CAFOD supporters, alongside countless others around the world, did make a difference. They helped persuade governments to take greater action, even if world leaders still don’t recognise the urgency required….
“CAFOD joined Oxfam and Christian Aid to organise a post-COP briefing in parliament; giving MPs and Peers an opportunity to hear our partners’ reaction to the COP outcomes. We will soon begin the season of Lent, and CAFOD will host a reflection so MPs can contemplate how they ought to respond to the call to care for creation. In March, following the thousands of letters sent to MPs by CAFOD supporters, we will invite Human Rights and Environmental Defenders from Colombia to speak to MPs about a new Business, Human Rights, and the Environment Act.
“CAFOD knows that climate justice cannot be achieved alone, but by working together with allies in this country and around the world. That's why we are a proud member of The Climate Coalition, we showed our green hearts in Glasgow, and we are showing them again once more.”
With Permission, CAFOD, Frances Leach, 15th February 2022
“…The experience that, where the Spirit blows, God is in touching distance, may not always be as dramatic as in [the] famous second chapter of Acts. But it runs through the pages of Scripture. Some of us are blessed with an effortless sense of God being just inches away. Others may believe every word in the Bible, yet God can feel distant. Wherever you are on that spectrum, join us on our journey through Pentecost.
"In our daily devotional series, we’re remembering a time when God’s Spirit gifted us with his presence like never before… the Spirit is linked with a number of noble qualities like wisdom, courage or knowledge. In our Pentecost series we’ll be examining those ‘spiritual’ qualities….”
“Sign up for the Pentecost Reflections” using the following link: https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/resources/the-pentecost-reflection-2023/
With Permission, Bible Society, 19 May 2023. See the full article at https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/latest/news/from-creation-to-resurrection-following-the-holy-spirt-through-scripture/?source_code=NEW23052&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2023-05-19%20%20Newsletter%20%20Open%20the%20gifts%20of%20the%20Holy%20Spirit&utm_content=2023-05-19%20%20Newsletter%20%20Open%20the%20gifts%20of%20the%20Holy%20Spirit+CID_f61ce8b477739f195e71aa2b8b45706e&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=explore%20the%20role%20of%20the%20Holy%20Spirit
“The Spring 2022 issue of the Columban Social Justice newsletter 'Vocation for Justice' is now available. It takes the general theme 'Listen for a Change' from a key theme of the campaigning around the United Nations COP26 climate conference in Glasgow last November….
“Columban JPIC in Britain walked alongside the COP26 Coalition, the Laudato Si Movement, Jesuit Missions and many others to call for world leaders to tackle multiple crises of inequality, climate instability and the COVID19 pandemic…. Those present found it a life-affirming experience of listening to multiple voices, including indigenous people, communities facing extreme weather, and young people….
“This issue takes the theme, 'Listen for a Change', highlighting the importance of listening to prophetic voices and to recognise changes happening to build a sustainable future….
“Andy Whitmore of the London Mining Network, of which Columbans are members, writes about a 'Just Transition', calling for a re-consideration of concepts of economic growth and consumption, and promoting a 'circular economy' where resources are re-used, but also a reduction in consumption in general. Such principles, if put into practice, would require major shifts in personal, government and business prioritisation. However, they would also form the basis of a true 'Just Transition'.
“'Vocation for Justice' is a 12-page magazine sent out three times a year since 1986 to around 7,000 readers.
“It can be downloaded at: https://columbans.co.uk/how-you-can-help/subscribe/vocation-for-justice/
“To request a hard copy of the Vocation for Justice magazine email: email@example.com or call 01564 772096
With Permission, Independent Catholic News, Ellen Teague, 26th Jan 2022
“The Diocese of East Anglia’s response to the environmental crisis stepped up a gear recently with the establishment of a small group tasked with addressing this important issue….
“[Fr Paul Maddison, chair of the group] said: ‘The remit of the group is to provide support, education and co-ordination across our parishes, schools and other diocesan structures as well as to facilitate national initiatives from the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.’
“’Much has been done and more is planned not only to reduce our carbon footprint, but also to make real and lasting changes in response to the call of Pope Francis in Laudato Si to care for our common home,’ said Fr Paul.
“’Please get involved,’ said Fr Paul…. email the team at: firstname.lastname@example.org”
(With permission) Diocese of East Anglia, Jan 7, 2022
"’Climate change driven by predatory economic interests impacts those on the margins’ Irish Primate, Archbishop Eamon Martin told graduates of theology and philosophy at Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth, yesterday. …
“A few weeks ago, on the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis - together with other Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu leaders, - declared following a meeting with international climate scientists and experts, that:
“'We are currently at a moment of opportunity and truth.
“'Future generations will never forgive us if we squander this precious opportunity.
“'We have inherited a garden: we must not leave a desert to our children'
“From a faith point of view, God is calling us today, more than ever, to be caring stewards of creation, to protect and nourish our planet and its resources, and not to selfishly waste them or ruthlessly and excessively exploit and destroy them.
“In his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si' (159) Pope Francis reminded us that: 'Since the world has been given to us, we can no longer view reality in a purely utilitarian way, in which efficiency and productivity are entirely geared to our individual benefit'. The world belongs also to those who will follow us. Intergenerational solidarity is therefore 'not optional, but rather a basic question of justice'….
“We all share responsibility for the problems facing our world, but equally, we share responsibility for finding the solutions. Each one of [us] must accept our personal and collective need to change and make sacrifices, recognising the inherent issues of justice and fairness that are involved, and realising, as Pope Francis says, that 'the cry of the earth' is especially 'the cry of the poor'….
“As servants of God and of one another, this will also mean accepting our own share of the pain necessary for ecological conversion.”
With permission, Independent Catholic News, Source: Irish Catholic Media Office, 7th Nov. 2021
“In a letter addressed to all leaders of the European institutions participating in the upcoming COP26, the President of COMECE, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, urges the European Union to play a leading role at the international level for a bold response to tackle the climate emergency: ‘finding a pathway likely to respect the 1.5°C threshold for global warming is a profound moral imperative’.
“Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ calls on the EU leaders participating in COP26 to accelerate climate action and to promote a holistic care of our Common Home.
"’The COVID pandemic has brought to light the fact that everything is interconnected and interdependent and that our health is inextricably linked to the health of the environment in which we live’ - the letter reads. "’The Earth cries out - and those cries have taken the form of soaring temperatures with records being broken across many regions; of deadly floods and wildfires devastating communities across Europe and the world; of material loss compounded by social and psychological trauma.’
“Moreover, in this period of global transformation, Europe has a responsibility to respect, protect and promote the rights and dignity of people, not least those in the most vulnerable and marginalised situations.”
With permission, Independent Catholic News, Source: COMECE, Oct. 27th 2021
“… five days before the UN climate conference, COP26, in Glasgow, and four days before the G20 Summit in Rome, 72 faith institutions, including 37 from the UK, announce their divestment from fossil fuels in the largest-ever joint divestment announcement by religious organisations.
“The global divestment announcement comes from faith institutions with more than $4.2 billion of combined assets under management in Australia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Nepal, Peru, Ukraine, the UK, the United States and Zambia. … “The UK Churches and dioceses involved in this announcement represent nearly 2,000 local churches.
“It follows the recent call from Pope Francis and other faith leaders to global governments to address the 'unprecedented ecological crisis' ahead of COP26 and calls from an international alliance of grassroots multi-faith activists who have called for an immediate end to all fossil fuel finance. [This] announcement shows an increasing number of Catholic institutions are responding to the recent Vatican recommendation to divest from fossil fuel companies and invest in climate solutions.
“Bishop Bill Nolan, Bishop of Galloway and Lead Bishop on the Environment for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland, said: ‘The bishops decided that disinvestment would show that the status quo is not acceptable and further, that given the harm that the production and consumption of fossil fuels is causing to the environment and to populations in low income countries, it was not right to profit from investment in these companies. Disinvestment is a sign that justice demands that we must move away from fossil fuels.’
“Many UK Churches have fully divested from fossil fuel companies this year, including the Church of Scotland, the Church in Wales and the Baptist Union….
“Tomás Insua, Laudato Si' Movement Executive Director, said: ‘People of faith are divesting at scale from dirty coal, oil and gas, demanding the G20 in Rome to finally conclude that there is no future for fossil fuel finance. As Pope Francis said, 'enough of the thirst for profit that drives the fossil fuel industry's destruction of our common home'.'…
“Revd Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith, said: ‘In the midst of a climate emergency, fossil fuel divestment is a moral imperative. More and more religious groups - Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish as well as Christian - must continue to add their names to the growing list of divestment commitments, and must also lead the way by investing in ensuring access to clean energy for absolutely everyone - particularly the 800 million people who lack electricity.’"
With permission, Independent Catholic News, Oct. 26th 2021
‘"The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live."’ (Pope Francis, Letter inaugurating World Prayer of Care for Creation)
O Lord, good Father, who in your providence have entrusted the earth to the human race, grant, we pray, that with the fruits harvested from it we may be able to sustain life and, with your help, always use them to promote your praise and the wellbeing of all.
“…Last month, Christians celebrated the Season of Creation and ‘the integral web of relationships that sustain the well-being of the Earth’ - a fitting prayer for COP 26 which begins on 1st November.
… we must stabilise the climate by reducing CO2 emissions.
“The complexity of the task is awesome and perhaps I expect too much from COP26. It is about more than fossil fuels, world economies, technologies and ‘the science’, important though these are. It needs a vision suggesting the meaning of the world and the place of humankind (and our fellow travellers) within it, appealing to intellect, emotion and spirit; in other words, a within as well as a without, a joining of creation and nature, heaven and Earth.
“The presence of Pope Francis brings Laudato Si and Fratelli Tutti to the table, reminding us that ‘In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the word ‘creation’ has a broader meaning than ‘nature’, for it has to do with God's loving plan in which every creature has its own value and significance. Nature is usually seen as a system which can be studied, understood and controlled, whereas creation can only be understood as a gift…’ (LS 76)…. “Each and all of us must discover within ourselves the gift of intentional creativity in response to the climate emergency; that is, to adapt, form new structures, generate new behaviour patterns, solve new problems, create new narratives of 'progress' and collectively to embed innovations into our cultural repertoires. 'Our goal is to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it’ (LS 19)….
“Climate change was transformational in our human journey. DNA research suggests that megadroughts around 100,000 years ago may have bottled up early humans in Africa, making travel risky. A climate shift bringing wet periods probably helped propel the first migrations out of Africa. Climate change became a transformative tool for humans. In the best sense, may it prove to be again.”
With permission, Independent Catholic News, Paul Southgate, Oct. 5th 2021
“’Anyone who thinks that the only lesson to be learned was the need to improve what we were already doing, or to refine existing systems and regulations, is denying reality.’ Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, #7
“In 2020, we experienced the worst global health crisis in a century. …
“The pandemic exposed many of the inadequacies of how our world currently works. It has proved that we need greater cooperation between nations, solidarity between people and a greater focus on the poorest in society. …
“Pope Francis, and popes before him, have consistently called for a transformation of the way our global economy works and the ideology upon which it is built. For too long, it has been based on the pursuit of profit and growth, above care for people and our planet.
“A system based on unregulated free markets has created extreme inequalities, and has allowed some countries and companies to become wealthy at the expense of others while the precious gifts of climate, nature and biodiversity have been destroyed. …
“As Catholics, we are called not to stay silent and not to be passive. This is why Reclaim Our Common Home is a call to action! It’s a call to participate both individually and collectively in rebuilding a more dignified and sustainable world after the pandemic.
“To do this we need to:
A separate ‘Supporter’s Briefing’ with more information on this important CAFOD campaign is available at https://cafod.org.uk/content/download/54502/757303/version/2/file/Supporter%20briefing%20-%20Reclaim%20Our%20Common%20Home%20-%20January%202021.pdf
“Climate change affects our health, our homes, our heritage and our beautiful landscapes. Our community centres where we meet, our sports fields where we play and our places of pilgrimage where we reflect. It also ruins the work we do to fight poverty.
“Enough. Together as Catholics, we can turn the tide. We can call our politicians to go further and faster with emission cuts. We can treat our common home with respect and choose to live sustainably. …
“What are the links [of climate change] with our faith?
“God reveals himself to us in nature. The world is a gift from God and its future is intimately bound up with our own lives and choices.
“At CAFOD we have also been inspired by Pope Francis’ letter on the environment Laudato Si'. It complements what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that our responsibility as good stewards of creation is to care for our world and not ‘steal’ resources from future generations.
“In Laudato Si' Pope Francis speaks openly about the devastating effects of climate change on people and the planet. He says that climate change is real, urgent and it must be tackled. He also describes the climate as "a common good, belonging to all and meant for all". He calls us to an ecological conversion and invites us to praise God for the gifts of creation.
“Explore Pope Francis’ message in Laudato Si’ with your parish or school. Find resources to help you do this. [at https://cafod.org.uk/Pray/Laudato-Si-encyclical ].”
On Sunday, July 7th, the Justice & Peace Group facilitated a shared lunch and discussion on what a parish might do to counteract or reduce the effects of climate change. Here are some of the ideas that emerged:
A. Become a Live Simply Parish
B. Use Solar Panels/Raise money for Solar Panels
C. Become a plastic-free parish?
D. Educate the kids in the Children’s Liturgy
E. Make a commitment as a parish to:
• Turn off lights when not in use
• Make sure all our lights are LED bulbs
• Check the lights
F. Have a walk/cycle to mass Sunday (for those who can)
G. Share cars to get to Church using less fuel.
Many other suggestions were made as well, some of which are already in place. There’s no doubting that more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of local action, and not just waiting for world leaders to solve the problem.
If you have suggestions about practical actions we can take, please contact Gill or Tom Caple Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.
Ten years ago the UK Government took a global lead and passed the pioneering Climate Change Act committing us to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Recent research by climate scientists has stressed that this is no longer enough. We need to go further, faster. Unless we make dramatic changes, the damage caused by climate change will be irreversible. We need to reach ‘net zero’ emissions by 2045 at the latest. This is based on the science behind keeping global temperature rise below 1.5C. Several countries have already committed to reach this target. The UK as a global leader on climate change must join them to ‘revive’ our common home. So what can we do?
For further information about the national campaign go to www.cafod.org.uk/climate
“'Climate Change, Arms and Conflict: What does Security mean in a time of Climate Crisis?
“Aisling Griffin, schools and education officer from Pax Christi will be talking about these issues in a Zoom meeting next week, organised by Middlesbrough Diocese Justice and Peace.
“The group will explore how climate change, conflict, military emissions and arms are all interconnected. They will consider what security means in the face of the climate crisis, and reflect on how we can respond as people of faith.
“The meeting takes place on Saturday, 15th January, 2022 from 11am to 12.30pm - Via Zoom.
“All most welcome. To register please email email@example.com “
(With permission) ICN, 5 Jan 22
“… Pope Francis says: ‘We pray that we all will make courageous choices for a simple and environmentally sustainable lifestyle, rejoicing in our young people who are resolutely committed to this.
“’It makes me very happy to see that young people have the courage to undertake projects for environmental and social improvement, since the two go together.
“’We adults can learn much from them, because in all matters related to care for the planet, they are at the forefront.
“’Let us take advantage of their example and reflect on our lifestyle, especially during these moments of health, social and environmental crisis.
“’Let us reflect on how the way we eat, consume, travel, or the way we use water, energy, plastics, and many other material goods, is often harmful to the earth.
“’Let us choose to change! Let us advance with young people towards lifestyles that are simpler and more respectful of the environment.
“’…[T]hey aren't foolish, because they are committed to their own future. This is why they want to change what they will inherit at a time when we will no longer be here.’
“Watch the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnQxcFLH7Y8&list=PLTroqZcBkue16MMgzz9LKRp-W1biit5sp “
(With permission) Sep 1st 2021, Independent Catholic News
“For our September Focus we are taking a closer look at Noah and our creation care responsibilities.”
Here is a list of the themes you can find at the following link: https://www.godwhospeaks.uk/the-god-who-speaks/focus/noah-and-creation-care/
“Run your own Noah Day!
“Download our free collective worship plans and other resources for primary and secondary schools here.”
“Reflecting on Baptism and Salvation in the Bible Symbols between Noah and Christ
Monsignor Kevin McGinnell explores the key Biblical symbols between baptism and salvation through Noah in the Old Testament and Christ in the New Testament. He helps us to understand these symbols in our faith and their relevance today in our care for creation and the climate change crisis.”
“Noah’s Burden: A personal ecological reflection on Noah
“Dr Richard Goode navigates the story of Noah and its clarion call today from his own canal boat in the West Midlands. Richard shows us that through biblical catastrophe, we can find more holistic ways to live in the world through Christ’s saving hope and a renewed vision of creation.”
“Cosmic Love: Eucharist and Creation
“Bishop Peter Brignall explores the biblical foundations of the Eucharist in the Hebrew Scriptures. He locates the great themes and festivals in the cycle of nature revealing the work of the Creator God. Finally, he opens these themes out in the theology of the Eucharist in recent Papal teaching.
“The Heart of God in Crisis: Noah and the Ark
“David McLoughlin reflects on the Biblical narrative of Noah in both the Old and New Testaments.”
With permission, The God Who Speaks
“Together for the Common Good is a charity calling people to reimagine a culture that puts people, communities and relationships first…. We see a society today more polarised and fragmented than it has been for many years…. There is an urgent need to strengthen the bonds of social trust, at all levels and in all sectors. … We believe the Common Good approach is the way to make that happen, and that people across the churches can help.”
In a series of four events, noted academics, commentators, informed Catholic / Christian observers exchange views and “…explore the meaning of the common good, and the responsibility it places on families, society and the state.” These four public conversations began this past June and July. Videos of the first two events are available at https://togetherforthecommongood.co.uk/news/new-event-series .
The first, “The common good – what does it mean?” took place online on 15 June 2021. “At a time of great uncertainty, this event [explored] the meaning of this powerful concept and why it is important in our social and political discourse now.”
The second, “The common good: what does it mean for the family? took place online on 13 July 2021. “It is the family in which we are formed, it is where we learn to share resources, reconcile collective goals with our unique individuality, grow up and then assist the older generation, returning the love and service we received as children. The family is the fundamental unit of socialisation and the foundation upon which the common good is built.” This event considered “…what needs to happen in civil society and public policy to create the conditions in which the family can fulfil its critical role.”
The third event, also online, will be The common good: what does it mean for society? (29 Sept 2021, 6.30pm8pm). “At their best, associations, businesses, clubs, churches and other faith groups, charities and other local institutions all play a vital part in promoting the common good, enabling people to find fulfilment together. … this event will assess the capacity of our institutions to fulfil their responsibilities as we work towards civic renewal. Examining its strengths and weaknesses across 21st Century Britain, our panel will consider what steps each of us can take, and how public policy can assist, to enable civil society to fulfil its vital role.
The fourth event, in person, The common good: what does it mean for government? will take place 16 Nov 2021, 6.30-8pm, Church of St Mary Putney, London. “Our final panel in the series will investigate the role of government in promoting the common good – from ideas to action.”
Details are available at https://togetherforthecommongood.co.uk/news/new-event-series .
Together for the Common Good, https://togetherforthecommongood.co.uk/
In May 2021, the Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland wrote to the Prime Minister ahead of the G7 meeting in Cornwall. Their focus in the letter was the global ecological crisis.
“The urgency of the … crisis, and the teachings of our Catholic faith implore us to speak out, take action, and make decisions that benefit our planet and the most vulnerable in society,” say the bishops.
They also emphasise that the social, economic, and environmental crises we face are inextricably linked.
“The emergency of the ecological crisis has a human face, recently highlighted by the Vatican’s guidance on climate displaced people. In our race towards our own technological and economic advances, we have caused the exploitation of people and the degradation of our planet. Energy and infrastructure are vital in supporting the poorest in our societies out of the pandemic and out of the ecological crisis, but we must look towards a future whereby we radically reduce our use of fossil fuels – something which the countries which you represent have a shared responsibility for, in ensuring fair outcomes for the benefit of all.”
With permission, The Diocese of East Anglia, 10th June 2021
“In 2021, World Humanitarian Day is marked by many crises, both man-made and natural disasters. Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 162 members working with the grassroots communities in 200 countries and territories, is witnessing the untold sufferings caused by these man-made and natural crises. In line with the teaching of Pope Francis, on this World Humanitarian Day, Caritas recalls that the only solution is Integral Human Ecology, putting the interest and dignity of the human person at the centre of all activities and decisions. Without determined political will on the part of the decision makers and political leaders, there will be no change, and the wellbeing of the poorest cannot be ensured.
“COP26 must address this as an urgent priority and come out with tangible and adequate solutions with the allocation of appropriate means to realise them.
“On World Humanitarian Day, Caritas Internationalis urges decision makers to take courageous steps to address the different issues particularly related to climate change, the pandemic's impact, and the political turmoil in Afghanistan and Lebanon. Without determined political will, human life is in danger, and one part of humanity is bound to suffer and live in dire conditions of inhuman poverty.”
(With permission) Aug 18th 2021, Independent Catholic News
“In the week when Pax Christi International launched its #WaterforLife campaign, calling for support for communities adversely affected by extractive industries such as mining and deforestation, Pax Christi England and Wales held an on-line discussion on the relationship between nonviolence and care for the earth. Aware of the violence done to the earth through war, the global demand that militarism makes on fossil fuels and other energy sources and the conflicts that arise over access to resources, the gathering explored relationship between these acts of violence and the power and approach of nonviolence as a response.
“Christina Leano, Associate Director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement spoke of the environmental crisis we face as a moral and spiritual crisis. Active nonviolence, she suggested, offers an integral approach to addressing this crisis. She outlined three nonviolent dimensions: the spiritual, lifestyle and social. The first calls us to recognise that we are within creation, not 'outside' of it, there is no separation. Hearing the cry of the earth means hearing our own suffering within creation. The choices we make in our life, our patterns of consumption, use our energy, how we choose to witness to violence and injustice, are part of the lifestyle dimension, what Pope Francis calls 'the nobility to care for creation through little daily actions'. The social dimension relates to raising our voice in the public space, advocacy, public witness and protest against the destruction of the earth.
“Aisling Griffin, Pax Christi's Schools and Youth Education Officer shared approaches she is taking in creating educational approaches and resources on nonviolence and care of the earth. The extractive industries have become a focus for this work which is being undertaken with the London Mining Network and with Pax Christi International. Coal mining, mineral exploitation, creation of dams, deforestation are examples of these industries that pollute, destroy bio-diversity, cause damage to human health and displacement and in many cases bring violence and a culture of militarism to communities as companies seek to 'protect' their interests over those of local people and the earth.”
Pat Gaffney, Vice-President of Pax Christi, 6 July 2021 in
Independent Catholic News, https://www.indcatholicnews.com/ (With permission)
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