Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Websire Reviews: Catholics and the Environment

Originally Published in the Septermber 2009 issue of Intercom.
Reproduced with kind permission.

Catholics are increasingly being called to respect God’s creation and deal with environmental issues, particularly as they affect the poor. Various statements from the Vatican have highlighted the moral imperative for Catholics to care for God’s creation and its impact on those least able to respond. The Internet is increasingly becoming the global forum for discussions based on making climate change such an urgent moral imperative.

The Education section of the Catholic and Climate website allows you to search for information on climate change in general as well as curricula, articles, FAQs, and PowerPoint presentations to assist those working in schools and parishes to inform others about the growing concern of climate change on a global scale. This website is run by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, a membership organization consisting of twelve national Catholic organizations, launched in 2006 to help the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to offer advice and assistance in implementing its programs.
The site is particularly beneficial in terms of demonstrating how Catholic principles and teachings such as prudence, poverty and the common good may be applied to climate change. The sections on News and current resources would be particularly useful to those involved in education.

The site also links to the Climate Covenant website which builds on the steady progress of the Church’s efforts to embrace an ethic of environmental stewardship by highlighting the themes of “covenant, creation, and poverty” by encouraging and assisting Catholic institutions, organisations, parishes and individuals to join the Covenant by taking the St. Francis Pledge (available on the website), a response to climate-change impacts on creation and people in poverty and sharing good news about the ongoing and impressive ways in which the Catholic community is carrying out the Catholic Climate Covenant to honour our obligations toward God’s gift of creation.

Catholic Earthcare Australia was established by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in May, 2002 and received its present Mandate in May, 2003. As an agency of the Catholic Bishops Commission for Justice and Service, Catholic Earthcare Australia's mission is to help promote understanding among people that Creation is sacred and endangered, and must be protected and sustained for present and future generations. This website is an excellent example of the theories behind the focus on climate change becoming practical issues. The site shows how the imperatives affect schools and parishes and how you can audit your own environment with practical measures to include in your daily life to help protect the environment.

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