Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 23, 2007
Live simply to protect sacred earth
Adopt this ethic as an Easter mission, says Scottish cardinal
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
How would "his (Jesus') fisherman friends . . . react to the crisis we have brought on ourselves?" he asked.
- Cardinal Keith O'Brien
While beyond the doors of churches during the Easter season and "the blossoms, the spring flowers, the lambs, the first hint of leaves on the trees," the cardinal said are "signs that are warnings, indeed, dire warnings" about the environment.
He pointed to the recent report on Scotland's global footprint, which reported that the rate of consumption in the country would require three earths to sustain it.
"We take and use much more than our share, and we cannot maintain this any longer."
The cardinal stressed that, with so much attention focused on global warming, climate change is not the only environmental crisis faced.
"We are mistaken if we consider climate change to be the only problem, imagining that if we fly less or burn less fuel or plant more trees somehow the environmental damage will be corrected," he said. Catholics "must take the whole picture into account when we consider the damage being done to our mother earth."
Species are becoming extinct at "an alarming rate" and rain forests, "fast disappearing," are half of what they used to be when he was ordained as a bishop, O'Brien said.
"I cannot help but wonder as I go round schools what will happen to those remaining forests during the lifetime of the children I meet there," he said.
"Learning to live simply will ask a great deal of us."
- Cardinal Keith O'Brien
"We fail those children in the way we destroy the land."
Even in the vastness of the oceans, "dangers and warnings concerning a sustainable future are evident," he said.
"Overfishing means we now pay a great environmental price. Stocks of many of the fish we have taken for granted and which have been plentiful are now critically low. The majestic whale is at risk as are many other species of ocean life," he said.
Pointing to technology that is endangering deep-water, slow-to-replenish stocks, the cardinal was moved to ask "what Jesus would make of this."
How would "his fisherman friends . . . react to the crisis we have brought on ourselves?" he asked.
"Learning to live simply will ask a great deal of us, and we will need help along the way," the cardinal said.
He said that he has called upon the St. Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese justice and peace group to examine what needs to be done to help the Church community to do a better job of meeting its environmental responsibilities.
(© Catholic Online 2007, www.catholic.org)
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