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Joint Methodist-Catholic statement on Eucharist and ecology

April 24, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the publication of “Heaven and Earth Are Full of Your Glory: A United Methodist and Roman Catholic Statement on the Eucharist and Ecology.”

The statement’s authors acknowledge that “the sources of Catholic teaching about the Eucharist [are] not matched by similar sources for the United Methodist partners, and vice versa,” according to the document’s introduction. “As we present this agreed statement, we realize only too well its limitations … [and] fully realize that this statement does not reflect the breadth of what either church holds to be the total content of its Eucharistic belief or practice.”

“We believe that we can and should offer a joint prophetic witness on a significant challenge facing both our communions regarding the relation of humanity to the rest of the natural world,” the statement continues. “In our time, the appearance of the skies has become a sign of the times. The threat of climate destabilization, the destruction of the ozone layer, and the loss of bio-diversity point to a disordered relation between humankind, other living beings and the rest of earth. United Methodists and Roman Catholics have interpreted the signs of these times of ecological crisis as a summons to an ecumenical response.”

Following the document’s three main parts--“The Eucharist as the Unity of Creation and Redemption,” “Creation as the Mystery of Our Origin Encountered,” and “Eucharist as the Wholeness of the Christian Mystery Encountered”--the statement concludes:

Eucharistic renewal and environmental responsibility are intrinsically linked. Separating them yields an incomplete and distorted “sending,” that is to say, a diminished evangelical witness to the glory of God. A Christian response to the ecological crisis, to environmental degradation and environmental injustice, is adequate only when informed by a sense of wonder before God’s gift of creation.

The Eucharist evokes this sense of wonder when we join with the choirs of angels and all the company of heaven, indeed with all of creation, singing, Holy, holy, holy, LORD, God of power and might, Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. Hosanna in the Highest.


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  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Apr. 24, 2012 9:40 PM ET USA

    Wow, these people have too much time on their hands ...

  • Posted by: - Apr. 24, 2012 6:15 PM ET USA

    Could someone please explain what this article and this join effort are about, cause I ain't getting it from what was presented here.

  • Posted by: williiam ronner - Apr. 24, 2012 2:06 PM ET USA

    What happened to the new interpretation of the HOLY, HOLY, HOLY LORD GOD OF HOSTS.......?

  • Posted by: Franz10108953 - Apr. 24, 2012 1:11 PM ET USA

    What? I can't find the compelling connection between the Blessed Sacrament and ecology in this document. Maybe they can work on a statement about polluted water ways and the connection to baptism...after all there's nothing else that needs doing in the Church.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Apr. 24, 2012 11:39 AM ET USA

    Escuse me...what?