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US cardinal urges Catholics to take ‘St. Francis Pledge’ on climate change

September 30, 2010

In a letter to parishes dated October 4-- the memorial of St. Francis of Assisi-- Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles will announce the formation of the Archdiocesan Creation Sustainability Ministry, according to the electronic newsletter of the Catholic Climate Covenant.

“We exhort our faith communities and all our brothers and sisters to take the St. Francis Pledge, an initiative that urges Catholics nationwide to pray for, learn about, assess, act and advocate for populations affected by climate change, especially those that are most vulnerable,” Cardinal Mahony adds.

“The St. Francis Pledge is a promise and a commitment by Catholic individuals, families, parishes, organizations and institutions to live our faith by protecting God’s Creation and advocating on behalf of people in poverty who face the harshest impacts of global climate change,” according to the Catholic Climate Covenant, an initiative of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. In marked contrast to some environmental organizations, the Catholic Climate Covenant states that it holds to “an authentically Catholic Pro-Life position which uncompromisingly excludes abortion, artificial contraception, and/or sterilization.”

The coalition, in turn, is a partnership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, and ten other organizations.

Catholic social teaching on safeguarding the environment is summarized in Chapter 10 of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which was issued in 2004. Pope Benedict further reflected on the topic in his 2010 World Day of Peace message.


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  • Posted by: Obregon - Sep. 30, 2010 10:48 PM ET USA

    All I can say in reaction to this news item is that I can't wait till February 11, 2011 when Mahony retires!

  • Posted by: impossible - Sep. 30, 2010 6:34 PM ET USA

    It's fine and good to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, but this is one more act in the farce of placing partisan politics ahead of morality. It is an an an insult to our intellects and an insult to St. Francis. Hey, Caardinal, move aside and allow a replacement to emulate St. Francis by rebuilding Jesus' Church.

  • Posted by: JJF - Sep. 30, 2010 6:23 PM ET USA

    Has anyone taken note of the benefits of global warming, if it exists? We would need less energy, as more of the sun's heat is retained, and more arable land would become available in Canada and Russia. Those seem like worthwhile goals. Sea level has been rising for the last 12,000 years, so it is no immediate hazard to anybody, and it never will be to most people. Whatever directions our future climate takes, it is unlikely that man will be able to control them, and certainly not the bishop.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 30, 2010 3:48 PM ET USA

    The bagger at the supermarket was just about to put my (organic) groceries into a plastic bag, when I stopped him/her and said, "Sir/Madam, wait..I have taken the St. Francis Pledge. Please put the (organic) groceries into this hemp net bag made by indigenous, unionized, fair-wage workers on the cooperative in that former Anglo-American colony, now with a Democratically elected government through a free George Soros supported campaign. But it was too late, he/she had moved to the next counter.

  • Posted by: ltoscan2645 - Sep. 30, 2010 11:52 AM ET USA

    perhaps His Eminence should be pushing his brother bishops to have Catholics, especially pro-abortion ones, fully pledge themselves to protecting the most innocent of God's creation, the unborn.....I would bet if you made such a suggestion to the "social justice" Catholic crowd it would go over like a lead baloon.

  • Posted by: sparch - Sep. 30, 2010 10:40 AM ET USA

    The problem with clerics donning the mantels of secularism is that those secular precepts tend to pass away. This true of man made global warming, now catagerized as "climate change". Some pseudo scientific groups are once again warning about global cooling. Bishops should stick with what they should be experts in, teaching the precepts of the church and calling the faithful back home. Mahoney thinks he is doing good when in fact, he is again being used as a tool.