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First Friday: US Catholics asked to fast, reflect on climate change

February 02, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to “fast” on Friday, February 3, by limiting their food spending to the allotment on the USDA Modified Thrifty Food Plan--about $18 for a family of four.

The theme of the February First Fridays for Food Security initiative is food insecurity and climate change. “Food insecurity is also a serious problem globally and is often intensified by climate change,” states a USCCB flyer. “According to a recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization, climate change will significantly affect the availability of water for growing food and for crop production globally. This will disproportionately affect poor people in rural areas whose livelihoods are closely connected to agriculture and natural resources.”


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  • Posted by: littleone - Feb. 07, 2012 4:19 PM ET USA

    ummm,forgive me,but i both appreciate CatholicCulture's reporting this,as I certainly didn't hear about it at Mass,nor do I have any other way of knowing what the Bishops are wanting me to pray for other than signing on their website regularly? And I appreciate their reminding anyone to fast on Fridays,albeit the suggested . . . rationale.Thanks CC, as regularly signing on their website for other than daily readings is out of my pattern. I'll trust you to keep me informed!!!

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Feb. 03, 2012 8:21 AM ET USA

    Just when you thought the USCCB was actually becoming relevant and standing up to real problems (the HHS contraceptive mandates), they revert to the historical mean and prove their reflexive allegiance to left-wing social justice initiatives founded on junk science. Yawn!

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Feb. 03, 2012 1:40 AM ET USA

    Have the bishops learned nothing in the past week? Supporting Democrats,their fantasies,their pet projects is what got them in the "contraception and sterilization hot soup" where they now find themselves. And there they go again! Back to supporting more fantasies and lies, allowing the liberal agenda to continue to infuse the Church, as we fast and pray in sorrow and repentance for fake issues instead of fasting/repenting of what the present politicians have made the law and mores of the land.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 03, 2012 12:29 AM ET USA

    I had just begun to think the USCCB was on the right track with their activity concerning the Obama/Sibelius nastiness from HHS. I'll think again.

  • Posted by: benniep5 - Feb. 02, 2012 10:12 PM ET USA

    I am starting to think before one becomes a priest they should work in the real world for ten years or more before they start their formation for the priesthood, sending immature young men off to liberal colleges doesn’t help to mature the mind of those that too soon become middle-aged adolescents that think more like 15 year olds then the mature leaders we need to lead the Church. One of the biggest problems with the Church, as well as many of our political leaders, is the fact they are from the generation of Jerry Garcia and Bob Marley, or the children of that generation, and apparently have either smoked too much of the wrong stuff or spend too many lonely nights sitting around the parsonage drinking mushroom tea and listening to the Grateful Dead…. Without God’s grace soon the American Church will be, maybe not too grateful, but dead as many of our Bishop’s brains…

  • Posted by: JJF - Feb. 02, 2012 10:12 PM ET USA

    More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere makes plants grow better.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Feb. 02, 2012 9:05 PM ET USA

    February 1 is the traditional feast day of St. Ignatius of Antioch in the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy. The Gradual comes from the Book of Ecclesiases 44:16-20- "Behold, a great priest, who in his days pleased God. There was not any found like to him, who kept the law of the Most High."

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Feb. 02, 2012 9:01 PM ET USA

    I will be praying during February for Our Holy Father's prayer intentions for February: Access to Water: That all peoples may have access to water and other resources needed for daily life. Health Workers: That the Lord may sustain the efforts of health workers assisting the sick and elderly in the world’s poorest regions. I am also willing to pray and fast regarding the food insecurity (hunger and starvation)that affects much of the world. I will just leave out the climate change part.

  • Posted by: Leferink557202 - Feb. 02, 2012 8:56 PM ET USA

    Call me naive, but in fairness to the bishops these sort of things are programmed months, if not years, in advance. So while the timing of this may be rather bad, this could have been thought up months ago. Now, the premise that it should be done with regard to "food insecurity...intensified by climate change" does leave me scratching my head.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 02, 2012 6:09 PM ET USA

    Listening to Catholic Radio this afternoon someone mentioned that we need to take to the streets about the HHS ruling. What were we doing last week to the tune of 500000 citizens. Are Catholics even paying attention any more?

  • Posted by: JP810 - Feb. 02, 2012 5:36 PM ET USA

    Oh boy ... Not again! I think I am getting sick ...

  • Posted by: - Feb. 02, 2012 5:26 PM ET USA

    Glad to see I am not the first, and not the only one, to be flabbergasted by this incredible suggestion... Climate change?! Hello? Anybody home at the USCCB?

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Feb. 02, 2012 3:06 PM ET USA

    You have to be kidding, right? No wonder the USCCB gets no respect. My newfound charitable impulse begs the question I will not ask.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Feb. 02, 2012 2:49 PM ET USA

    Cooercive HHS regulations from Washington and here in Maryland the Dems are trying to pass a Same-sex marriage bill.....and the Bishops are asking us to fast about climate change!!! Aagggghhhhh!

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Feb. 02, 2012 2:25 PM ET USA

    Our bishops are the successors of the Apostles. Under Can. 386 §1 "[t]he diocesan Bishop is bound to teach and illustrate to the faithful the truths of faith which are to be believed and applied to behaviour." We are obliged in conscience to hear and follow the teachings of our bishops. But, man, they sure don't make it easy, do they?

  • Posted by: - Feb. 02, 2012 2:25 PM ET USA

    What incredible nonsense, the Church is under direct assault by the Obama administration as they work to banish religion from the public square and force catholic's to violate their consciences. So rather following up on Cardinal Dolan's strong condemnation of those actions the USCCB focuses on the Department of Agriculture and mythical "global climate change". Libera nos, Domine

  • Posted by: Defender - Feb. 02, 2012 1:37 PM ET USA

    Perhaps the USCCB didn't know that Friday is the Feast Day of St. in less talk?

  • Posted by: Hal - Feb. 02, 2012 1:16 PM ET USA

    It's simply imposible to take the USCCB seriously. They beclown themselves so regularly it defies imagination. The Chuch is undegoing the greatest opression in my memory and they choose this. Seriously, why would anyone with any sense pay attention to these buffoons?

  • Posted by: normnuke - Feb. 02, 2012 12:10 PM ET USA

    With stroke the USCCB has vitiated their opposition to the violence being done to the consciences of Catholics by the present administration. How is it possible to take these people seriously?

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 02, 2012 11:54 AM ET USA

    I heard on the radio this morning the crowd counting as the wife of the President did 22 pushups on the Ellen Degeneratus show. I wonder if she is the one who modified the USDA "Modified Thrifty Food Plan." The good news is that $18 is just about enough to buy two pizzas at Pizza Hut. I still have leftovers from the two I bought yesterday. Healthy food for a family of four, and a thrifty way to eat out. I only did 45 pushups this morning because I am recovering from a shoulder injury.

  • Posted by: benkulp5284 - Feb. 02, 2012 11:25 AM ET USA

    The first allegiance of the American Catholic bishops is to the democratic there!......Git it? Get it, I got it .

  • Posted by: - Feb. 02, 2012 8:57 AM ET USA

    I thought a Friday fast was supposed to be accompanied by prayerful reflection on our Lord's Passion. Foolish me - I should have been consulting Agricultural Department reports for material for reflection.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Feb. 02, 2012 8:52 AM ET USA

    Fast on First Friday . . . while thinking about the recently rediscovered 116,000 square miles of polar ice cap that wasn't lost to "climate change."

  • Posted by: Saint Jimbob of the Apokalypse - Feb. 02, 2012 8:21 AM ET USA

    Um, yeah, because we don't have anything much more important that needs real fasting and prayer.

  • Posted by: Joseph Paul - Feb. 02, 2012 6:55 AM ET USA

    Where do they get this non-sense from? Notice how global warming (which it isn't) has now changed to climate change which is a natural phenomenon. Representatives of the Church should stay out of areas they know nothing about.