Looks like the Vatican is going green:
When a Vatican official suggested that Pope Francis was contemplating an encyclical on the environment a year ago, he signaled that climate change and environmental degradation were such pressing concerns that the pope wanted to address them in a teaching document.
No word has emerged on what the encyclical might say or when it would appear in 2015, but references by officials at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace have pointed to a document that Catholics can apply in everyday life.
Catholics working on environmental issues and climate change in the U.S. are eagerly awaiting the encyclical and have spent much of the last year preparing for it.
“There’s never been an encyclical just on the environment. It’s clear something like this is needed to move, especially policymakers, but even the church,” said Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant.
“I’ve always said we need to recover ancient traditions that we’ve always had but we just forgot. About how we’re supposed to care for creation. About how St. Francis said it’s all kin, we’re all connected together somehow. ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon,'” he said.
Along with the U.S. bishops:
Joining other faith groups, the U.S. Catholic bishops are reiterating their support of federal rules limiting carbon produced by existing power plants.
In an open letter dated Wednesday to Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the heads of the domestic and international committees of the U.S. bishops’ conference said they welcomed the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan.
[Update: A clarification from the bishops’ conference stated the bishops have not endorsed the specific Clean Power Plan but rather support national carbon-cutting standards that EPA could create.]
“We support a national standard to reduce carbon pollution and recognize the important flexibility given to states in determining how best to meet these goals,” said Bishops Thomas Wenski and Richard Pates.
Wenski, archbishop of Miami, serves as chair of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. Pates, bishop of Des Moines, Iowa, heads up the Committee on International Justice and Peace.
Their statement was entered as oral testimony Wednesday by Cecilia Calvo, coordinator of the bishops’ environmental justice program, during an EPA hearing in Washington. EPA scheduled public hearings throughout the week in four locations across the country, with other hearings taking place in Atlanta, Denver and Pittsburgh. Commenting on the proposed rules remains open through Oct. 16; the Catholic Climate Covenant, which works with the bishops’ conference, has urged Catholics to weigh in on the proposals.
At least we don’t need to worry about spiritual figures dabbling in temporal affairs:
Author Peter McDonough argues that since the Catholic community as a whole is mildly conservative and fairly complacent, the chances of an end to a moderately authoritarian and insistently hierarchical church are slim. Moreover, the fact that most contemporary Catholics vote with their feet on most if not all of the ethical teaching of the church, both sexual and political, reduces still further any righteous indignation for change.
As a teaching body, moral guardian or strong voice in the public arena, the church is largely irrelevant, but as a network of communities where people gather for worship and fellowship, it continues to be prized. The church will insist on teaching broadly conservative and patently inadequate sexual ethics while holding to the all-male makeup of the clerical leadership. Few will pay attention to the former, and not enough people really care about the latter.
One of the more original aspects of the author’s argument is that he marginalized the effectiveness of both conservative and reformist pressure groups in today’s church. While many think of the church as an intensely polarized community, McDonough’s message is that these strong feelings only influence a minority, while the majority of Catholics just go to church and then get on with their lives without paying much attention to either left or right or, for that matter, the voice of ecclesial authority itself.
Of course, none of this applies to Jason and the Callers.