Did you notice anything missing from the national conventions these past two weeks? It seems that among all the major speeches a major tenant of Catholic social teaching was noticeably missing: being good stewards of God’s earth.
In fact, the effects of global climate change have hardly been mentioned at all during this nearly year-and-a-half race for the White House.
Catholic groups are starting to notice, and they’re not happy. Recently two Catholic social justice organizations–NETWORK and Franciscan Action Network issued separate press releases lambasting both President Obama and Governor Romney for not focusing enough on the issue. In his statement to the press, Franciscan Action Network’s Executive Director Patrick Carolan stated:
As people of faith we should challenge the media and our political leaders when they spread misinformation, thus instilling fear and pitting people against each other. We are all children of God and brothers and sisters to each other. At this critical juncture in our history, we need to not just comprehend the gravity and urgency of global climate change; we must insist that the dialogue on climate change be civil, respectful and truthful and call for collaborative action to protect creation for future generations. The Franciscan tradition teaches that all of creation has intrinsic value, not because of economic worth but because all creation is a reflection of God. In order to address this crisis in a bipartisan way, I believe that both President Obama and Governor Romney need to have the moral courage to use their voices as leaders and issue
statements that acknowledge the reality and critical nature of climate change and provide a plan of action. The American people and all God’s children across this world deserve no less.
Guess who else thinks politicians should address global climate change? Pope Benedict–the “green pope”–who has consistently spoken out on this issue throughout his seven-year pontificate.