Saturday, November 14, 2009

That Religious Guy: Catholic Climate Covenant!

..... I took the pledge just minutes ago, the St. Francis Pledge that is. The pledge is part of the nationwide effort by Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC) in helping reduce individual carbon footprints and protect the poor from the ill-effects of global warming. The several goals are to:

1. PRAY and reflect on the duty to care for God’s Creation and protect the poor and vulnerable.

2. LEARN about and educate others on the causes and moral dimensions of climate change.

3. ASSESS how we-as individuals and in our families, parishes and other affiliations-contribute to climate change by our own energy use, consumption, waste, etc.
4. ACT to change our choices and behaviors to reduce the ways we contribute to climate change.
5. ADVOCATE for Catholic principles and priorities in climate change discussions and decisions, especially as they impact those who are poor and vulnerable.

..... So pledge now on their Web site: and be one of the so far 2,323 individuals who have vowed to help the earth as much as possible.

..... The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is calling the faithful to act now and do their part for the betterment of the community. “At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family” said the USCCB. Pope Benedict XVI also has released similar statements, urging governments to moilize their citizens to action.

..... So why does the Church care about climate change? After all, is the protection of the environment really a part of Christian obligations? According to the USCCB and CCC, it is. Since God made us all in his image, we are blessed with the dignity to be someone not just something. Climate change will more directly affect the poor and the helpless, so everyone is accountable, everyone is a part of this global problem. As the sanctity of human life concerns the rejection of abortion, euthenasia, and the death penalty, it also influences the Church's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. By protecting the environment, we are indirectly caring for the poor and all of Creation.

..... Now, when I say Church, I don't just mean that building that you may or may not attend on Sundays depending whether you want to sleep in. By Church, I also don't mean just its hierarchy, that is its deacons, priests, bishops, cardinals, and the Pope. When I write Church in this blog and in almost every other blog, I always mean the whole universal community of believers, including the common folk or "laity." Seen in this light, hopefully, you can understand that we're connected to everyone regardless of location, family ties, etc. So, the preservation of the enviroment truly is the responsibility of every man, woman, and child.

..... The Church in Stockton, CA, under Bishops Stephen Blaire, has also taken the pledge. Bishop Blaire took the pledge for the entire diocese, to affirm its commitment to the CCC's goals. He has established an Environmental Justice Sunday during Respect Life Month. Parishes all over the diocese are also using energy efficient designs and material in the construction of new buildings. The Stockton Diocese also helped pass California's AB 32, "The Global Warming Solutions Act," which obliges the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.

..... As you can see, individuals have already started the work for a cleaner future for the world. The question is, whether your here to help or not?

- Jeremy Dela Cruz

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