Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 17, 2008
Canada's bishops plead for collective ecological conversion
Lifestyle of waste and overconsumption must go, they say
By GLEN ARGAN
The economic costs required to restore the environment are unfathomable."
The current overconsumption is an injustice both to less developed nations and to future generations, the bishops say.
They note that current leaders do not wish to bequeath economic debt to our descendants.
"But a damaged environment represents a debt incomparably greater and more difficult to reduce. The economic costs required to restore the environment are unfathomable."
They note that Jesus invited his disciples to view the world through a child's eyes.
"Because we love our children, what environment, what society do we wish to bequeath to them?" they ask.
The social affairs commission is critical of Canada's failure to live up to its commitments made in the Kyoto Protocol.
"The latest UN report on human development describes Canada as an 'extreme case' of a nation that is disregarding its commitments.
"The current ecological problems are essentially witnesses for the prosecution, testifying that we have violated the laws of life. We have forgotten that 'we command nature only by obeying her.'"
The commission also chastises Canada for failing to fulfill its commitment to donate 0.7 per cent of its gross national product in international aid.
"It is currently giving less than 0.3 per cent: crumbs falling from the rich man's table, while Lazarus is dying of hunger (Luke 16:19-30)."
The members of the social affairs commission are Archbishop Roger Ebacher of Gatineau, Archbishop Bertrand Blanchet of Rimouski, Archbishop Daniel Bohan of Regina and Archbishop Brendan O'Brien of Kingston.
(The complete text of the social affairs commission statement is available at www.wcr.ab.ca/cccb-environment.shtml.)
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