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Season of Creation spotlights threats to biodiversity
Brian Roewe, ncronline.org | August 30, 2019
Wildfires rage in the Amazon rainforest and other parts of the globe. Up to one million species face extinction, in large part due to human activities. This has formed the backdrop for the annual Season of Creation, timely tuned this year to the theme of biodiversity.
Defending the Amazon is now a burning need -- Development and Peace — Caritas Canada plan "For Our common Home" campaign
Development and Peace, devp.org | September 3, 2019
The Amazon rainforest, which is critical to the earth’s ecological balance, is going up in flames. Supporting those who defend it is now, quite literally, a burning need.
Development and Peace — Caritas Canada’s upcoming campaign, For our Common Home, will highlight the importance of protecting the Amazon and its peoples.
Season of Creation
On September 1, 1989 the Patriarch of Constantinople, Demitrios I, decreed the first day of September as a day of special reverence and prayer for the Safeguarding of Creation. Fast forward 20 years. Since 2008, The World Council of Churches has encouraged all Christian denominations to observe and celebrate this day. In 2015 Pope Francis issued his encyclical letter, Laudato Si (On Care for our Common Home), and announced that the Catholic Church would also mark September 1st as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
The Season of Creation has become a month-long season – from September 1 to October 4, of reflecting on ecological issues and our response to them as part of our call to follow Jesus. There has been some discussion about whether this should be a liturgical season on par with Advent or Lent or an overriding theme for our life of faith during Ordinary Time. Personally, I find that the later works well as our scripture readings for these weeks already speak of stewardship. The care of creation is certainly part our Christian responsibility of stewardship.
Global issues of climate change: increasingly devastating hurricanes like the recent Dorian, forest fires such as those in the Amazon this summer and in our B.C. forests last year, and shrinking sea ice may seem beyond our personal reach to do anything that would have an impact. However, we must take seriously our responsibility for ecological justice. The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. The poor of the world are suffering the greatest effects.
The UN Climate Action Summit 2019 being held in New York September 23rd is a call for countries throughout the world to expand their commitments to protecting the earth. We see young people like Greta Thunberg challenge our political leaders to take action. Student strikes for climate action are occurring globally on September 20th and 27th. Let's get out and support them – "not just take selfies with them." (Greta Thunberg)
Some prayerful options are available to us to observe this season. Three I recommend are:
How we care for creation is important not just for us, but especially for future generations. We can learn from First Nations convictions that earth can not be owned but can be used with respect while thanking the tree that we cut or the animal that we kill. They are our brothers and sisters, fellow creatures of a loving God.
This summer I was part of the decision to remove a stately green ash tree from the backyard of our condo building. The tree was healthy and didn’t need to be removed -- except that it was so healthy and had grown so large that it presented a clear and present danger to two building that were graced with its presence. Should a severe wind storm or lightning strike it, it would come crashing down on one or both buildings. Also, its roots were encroaching on the foundations of the buildings and beginning structural problems that would worsen with time.
JBK photoI watched with sadness as the tree was dismembered limb by limb and the trunk cut down bit by bit. Then the stump grinder did the final assault on its life. What had I done in saying that majestic tree could be treated so? Yet, the variety of tree was not a good choice to be planted in so small a space, so close to the buildings. So I ask, "How can I make some amend for the loss of the benefits that tree provided to the environment? What does my discipleship call forth in me as a way to respond?"
As we follow our spiritual path in this unique and perilous time we can ask ourselves questions like: How am I weaving my spiritual journey with the constant news about climate change? What can I chose as my spiritual service to Earth?
Gracious God, Creator of All,
We raise our hearts in grateful praise for all the beauty of earth and sea and sky that surrounds us.
We humbly ask you: Give us Wisdom that we learn to respect all as a sacred gift.
Increase our awareness of what we can do to repair the damage we have caused through our consumerism, greed and carelessness.
Grant us an ecological conversion so that we can leave our children, and generations yet to come,
hope in a future where there is enough for all.
Blessed be your name, now and forever.
[Jane Kryzanowski, Regina, SK is bishop for RCWP Canada]
I don't think you should allow "unsigned" letters. It is an act of cowardice. I think you made a mistake to print the letter.
[Karen Kasper, Location not give.]
[Editor's note: In an effort to increase conversation on issues, the Comments to the Editor form (below on this page) allows for comments to be signed or not.]
Rare book tells how bishop offered spiritual comfort to Canadians banished to Australia after rebellion in Canada against British rule in 1837
Adapted from Alice Moldovan, abc.net.au | August 25, 2019
This memoir was written in 1845 by a French Canadian man, Leandre Ducharme.
It tells the story of how the first bishop of Australia offered spiritual comfort to a group of Canadians who had been banished to NSW, Australia after a rebellion in Canada against British rule in 1837.
"This particular voyage was brutal and sadistic even by the standards of the time," Hugh Myers, the custodian of the Australian Catholic University collection, says.
Myers notes that the memoir details how the convicts were denied water, "so they went basically insane with thirst". Bishop Polding deliberately visited the men when they arrived and, "conducted mass in the hold" of the convict ship, Myers explains. "The psychological effect of this would have been enormous on men who were in very poor shape physically and emotionally ... as a solace."
This 19th-century bishop's legacy reverberates in Australian Catholicism today.
express anguish, sadness and
incredulity at current treatment of children at international
borders of the United States
September 4, 2019
We, the undersigned Bishops of the International Circle of Roman Catholic Women Bishops express our anguish, sadness and incredulity at the current treatment of children at international borders of the United States. We speak out against any failure to provide adequate water, food, clothing, bedding and shelter to migrant children, against the separation of children from their parents, against the housing of children behind bars in facilities that are often former prisons, and against any failure to provide adequate care and supervision for these children. We see the treatment of children at international borders as a humanitarian crisis.
As women of Christian faith, we take seriously Jesus' commandment to treat all people as we wish to be treated.
We call upon Christians worldwide to consider this humanitarian issue, regardless of their position on international migration, and to take action consistent with their conscience on behalf of children being held at all international borders throughout the globe.
+ Marie Evans Bouclin, Bishop Emerita, Canada
+ Merlene Olivia Doko, Bishop Emerita, U.S.
+Patricia Fresen, Bishop, South Africa
+ Joan Houk, Bishop Emerita, U.S.
+ Andrea Johnson, Bishop Emerita, U.S.
+ Jane Kryzanowski, Bishop, Canada
+ Jean Marie Marchant, Bishop, U.S.
+ Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Bishop, Austria
+ Nancy Meyer, Bishop, U.S.
+ Ida Raming, Bishop, Germany
+ Sibyl Dana Reynolds, Bishop Emerita, U.S.
+ Suzanne Thiel, Bishop, U.S.
+ Jane Via, Bishop, U.S.
VOICES OF FAITH EVENT FOR WOMEN RELIGIOUS
Voices of Faith, voicesoffaith.org | September 15, 2019
On October 3rd 2019, women religious from across the globe will come together in Rome to discuss issues they will no longer stand by and keep silent about. The time is now for women in leadership and decision making in the Church!
The risks of history -- Does the Church do paradigm shifts?
George O'Brien, international.la-croix.com | August 27, 2019
pixabay.com photoIn an interview with Vatican News about Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin suggested that it represented a "paradigm change" for the Catholic Church.
George Weigel promptly countered: "The Catholic Church Doesn't Do 'Paradigm Shifts'" (First Things, Jan. 31, 2018).
Former Vatican ambassador to UK calls for women to be ordained priests
Inés San Martín, cruxnow.com | August 27, 2019
A former Vatican ambassador to the United Kingdom says the fact women can’t be ordained to the priesthood is “intolerable.”
Spanish Archbishop Pablo Puente, 88, was speaking Aug. 25 during a Mass in honor of Ginés de la Jara, patron of the local fishermen brotherhood, in the Spanish coastal region of Cantabria.
“We cannot tolerate this flagrant discrimination against women by the Church,” Puente is reported to have said.
The Eucharist is about more than Christ becoming present
Thomas Reese, ncronline.org | August 19, 2019
There has been a lot of clerical hand-wringing of late about Catholics who don’t believe what the church teaches about Christ’s presence in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. According to the Pew Research Center, only one-third of Catholics agree that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ. Almost 70 percent believe that during Mass, the bread and wine used in Communion "are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ."
This certainly shows a failure in catechetics, but I think the church faces a greater problem: Like the Pew Research Center, Catholics have an impoverished idea of what the Eucharist is really all about.
Dorothy Stang -- Martyr of the Amazon -- a video
This Day, giveusthisday.org | September 15, 2019
catholicsun.org photoSr. Dorothy Stang, who championed ecological justice, gave her life for the cause of poor exploited farmers in Brazil. Sr. Dorothy Stang is the latest installment in Blessed Among Us Videos.
Read More and view video
WOC Granted Consultative Status at the United Nations
Kate McElwee, womensordination.org | July 31, 2019
pixabay.com photoWe are pleased to announce today that for the first time the Women’s Ordination Conference has been granted consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
We spent several years sharing our work and mission with committees of the United Nations as part of their extensive application process, and consider this decision a very significant achievement for WOC.
‘GOP Jesus’ Takes Satirical Look at Christian Republicans -- and some of the rest of us
Megan Briggs, churchleaders.com | November 6, 2018
usplash.com/ photoA satirical video is making its rounds on the Internet. Taking Scripture and altering the words, the makers of the three-minute parody, “GOP Jesus,” have a very pointed message: Evangelical Christians who claim to live by the words of Jesus may not be allowing those words to influence the way they vote.
Read More and watch video
The Vatican's next Synod of Bishops should focus on women
Don Clemmer, ncronline.org | July 13, 2019
The role of women in the church has been frequently discussed during the Francis era, and not without friction. Even the pope's supporters at times openly wonder where his deeply intentional Ignatian discernment ends and the limitation of his vision for women's equality, and perhaps his own authority, begins.
Pope names 13 new cardinals, including Canadian Jesuit
Associated Press, cbc.ca | September 1, 2019
Pope Francis is giving the Catholic church 13 new cardinals, including two churchmen who have worked to help migrants and several others who toil in poor countries or nations where Christians are a minority.
One is Michael Czerny, a Jesuit like the Pope, born in 1946 in what was then Czechoslovakia and raised in Montreal [from the age of two], but now a Vatican official.
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