New Priests To Learn About Global Warming As Part Of Formation, Then Promote It
When is God going to strike this man down?
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) — The Catholic Church is intimately concerned about climate change. The Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences is the world’s oldest, longest running scientific mission.
That body, which advises the pope on matters of science, has concluded that global climate change is real and is caused, at least in significant part, by human activity. This is important to the Church because creation care is part of our mission. We are called to be stewards of creation. It’s also important because climate change can exacerbate the ills of poverty.
Poor people in much of the world are the most vulnerable to changes. In the western, industrialized world, a drought means bottled water becomes more expensive. In the developing world, a drought means people starve and die. Unfortunately, the issue is politicized.
In the late 1970s, when the issue threatened the financial interests of the fossil fuel industry, the political lobbies, chiefly in the United States, financed a massive political disinformation campaign to manufacture the illusion of dissent within the scientific community.
We know because this manipulation of public opinion has been caught and documented. The fossil fuel industry funds nearly all of the climate change skeptics, going so far as to commission questionable studies, to financing think tanks, and even paying individual bloggers.
The deception continues today. Few things could be further from the truth. The established community of experts agree with frightful consensus that the planet is warming because of human activity.
And while nature may play a role in the natural heating of the planet it is known that the Earth’s temperature is dynamic, humans are clearly responsible for much of the present warming.
The Earth’s temperatures are spiking faster that at any time in history. The speed of the warming is so great, it is fueling extinctions and other crisis. Natural selection, evolution and adaptation cannot keep up with the pace of rapid change. Climate change is costing lives already, and will continue to cost more lives in the future.
But what does this have to do with the Church? The Church has a responsibility to care for people, and the environment. And care for one is also care for the other. Now updated guidelines for the formation of clergy says new priests should understand this as well:
“Protecting the environment and caring for our common home — the Earth, belong fully to the Christian outlook on man and reality. Priests should be “promoters of an appropriate care for everything connected to the protection of creation.”