“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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com”
(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
“…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 ].”
‘"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.
“'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 firstname.lastname@example.org “
(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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