Canadian Bishops Publish Pastoral Letter on the Environment

18 April 08 | Posted in Global Catholic, Stewardship

In a new pastoral letter on the environment, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops says that while scientific and technical developments can help in restoring the environment, “we will not succeed without a personal and collective conversion.” This conversion is aimed at healing “the ruptures we have created with nature, with our neighbor and with God” through humanity’s role in air, water and soil pollution, destruction of the ozone layer, deterioration of large ecosystems and reduced biodiversity. “We must re-establish the links with nature that we have damaged. We know that we are tied much more closely to the environment in which we live than we had imagined.”inuksuk.jpg

The letter, titled “Our Relationship with the Environment: The Need for Conversion” stresses to “convert is also to regain a sense of limit. It means adjusting our lifestyle to available planetary resources. Many are not renewable, and those that are have a pace of regeneration too slow for our impatient natures.”

“Since over consumption and waste have become a way of life, conversion implies that we free ourselves collectively from our obsession to possess and consume. In the words of renowned ecologist Pierre Dansereau, ‘joyful austerity’ or voluntary simplicity will help us to reorient ourselves on being instead of having. Our humanity will gain in the process.”

“It is manifestly unjust that a privileged few should continue to squander available resources, while masses of people are living in conditions of misery at the very lowest level of subsistence. Today, the massive threat of ecological breakdown is teaching us the extent to which greed and selfishness–both individual and collective–are contrary to the order of creation, an order which is characterized by mutual interdependence.”

But the bishops also noted some favorable developments: “Growing numbers of individuals are agreeing to make personal efforts in favor of the environment,” including using public transit, decreasing and recycling waste, purchasing local and regional products and produce, and lowering the thermostat at home. “Ecological awareness is emerging and becoming a fact of culture.”

Unfortunately, their otherwise excellent letter didn’t cite any examples of what is being done by individual bishops at their chancery or in their diocese.  In their role as teachers, how do they encourage conservation and care for the environment in say, religious education and faith formation programs? Are they willing to chastise Catholic politicians who have poor environmental voting records?

2 Responses to “Canadian Bishops Publish Pastoral Letter on the Environment”

  1. Adam Says:

    On the topic of the inuksuk, we use this historic inuit communication tool as a corporate cultural icon heavily.

    The word inuksuk means “something which acts for or performs the function of a person.”

    At Champion, the Inuksuk constantly reminds of that all of our partners have significant contributions to each other’s success. That is why we strive to deliver the best experience possible to all our partners and work towards greater coalition and cooperation.

    The Inuksuk symbolizes why we believe we are the kind of company that puts the success of our partners first, accounting for the needs, concerns and aspirations of everyone involved in our company.

    1 last point. I purchased the rights to use the image you have posted above from the photographer Paul Landry. Please drop him a line, he is an amazing person.

  2. Karen Says:

    Dear Adam,
    I enjoyed hearing from you. Thanks for writing. I certainly want to respect your purchase of the image, so please let me know if you want me to remove it from the site and use another one. I looked up Paul Landry. Looking at his photos confirmed my wish to go to Greenland someday.
    All the best, Karen

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