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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Pope Francis: “Nature Does Not Forgive”

by Peter Sinclair, Climate Crock of the Week, January 5, 2014

Full disclosure, I am a recovering Catholic school kid. You never get over it.
That said, I have to observe that Pope Francis is emerging as a church leader unlike any other we have seen since John the 23rd.
And, he’s saying some things that will have strong impacts on the world’s billion or so Catholics, many of them in the US, many of them members of the increasingly powerful and already very climate-conscious Hispanic community.
Therefore, worth being aware of, believer or not.

We human beings are not only the beneficiaries but also the stewards of other creatures. Thanks to our bodies, God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment, and the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement. Let us not leave in our wake a swatch of destruction and death which will affect our own lives and those of future generations. 
The culture of selfishness and individualism that often prevails in our society is not, I repeat, not what builds up and leads to a more habitable world: rather, it is the culture of solidarity that does so; the culture of solidarity means seeing others not as rivals or statistics, but brothers and sisters. And we are all brothers and sisters! 
Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. 
People occasionally forgive, but nature never does. If we don’t take care of the environment, there’s no way of getting around it.
A 2011 report by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences warned of the devastating future impacts of climate change and called on nations to act. That follows a 2001 report by U.S. bishops calling for action on climate change. 
Other faiths also are working to combat climate change. More than 300 evangelical leaders, including the Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, and the Rev. Rick Warren, the Orange County pastor who wrote the best-selling “Purpose-Driven Life,” have signed a statement on climate change. The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America endorsed a joint statement on the issue in May. Buddhists, Jews and Muslims have formed groups to combat climate change.

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