Bishop McElroy Calls for Deeper Level of Commitment on Addressing Climate Change from the US Bishops

via Brian Roewe:

In the classroom at Creighton University was San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, who sat at a student desk and listened. For most of the three days, McElroy was a regular participant in the conference co-sponsored by Catholic Climate Covenant and Creighton. He joined small-group discussions, sat in the audience during presentations and shared meals at a campus cafeteria.

The San Diego bishop has become one of the leading voices among U.S. bishops on Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home.”…

McElroy, 65, said he would like to see “a structurally deeper level of commitment” to the encyclical within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, beyond the work already done by some of its offices and programs on environmental policy and climate adaptation and mitigation. (The USCCB helped form the Catholic Climate Covenant in 2006, and remain among its 18 national partners.)

“If we don’t get this issue right, in the end none of the other issues are going to matter, because human dignity will have been destroyed as we know it if our planet is destroyed,” he said.



Confession of a Parish Shopper

At NCR, Millennial writer Mike Jordan Laskey writes:

I’m a little bashful to admit to church shopping. I like the idea that Catholics don’t belong to congregations but to parishes, geographic areas as much as physical church plants. Historically, Catholics haven’t picked where we go to Mass. We just show up where our home address dictates. But times are different now: Parishes are closing or merging throughout much of the country, making ties weaker. Folks like us are transient and relocate more often than in prior eras, and our culture’s emphasis on individual choice means people travel to find communities they like best without so much as a second thought.

I remember hearing a debate about parish shopping at a Catholic conference I attended years ago. One panelist argued that we should just go to our local parish and offer our gifts to make it better. The other panelist, who had compiled a list of best parishes for young adults around the country, just said, “You’ve got to go where you’re fed.” At this stage of life, I find myself in the latter camp. I am leading my family’s church-shopping endeavor. Here is my confession.

Each place we walk into, I deeply hope to see at least one person I recognize, which I would interpret as a sign from God. 

We barely know anyone in our new area, but as my wife and I both work for the institutional church, our Catholic rolodex is full. I instinctively scan each church we enter in search of someone we could say hi to. This must reflect my deep longing for community. In a new place, we are so anxious to meet people and make connections. Starting almost 100 percent from scratch is intimidating….

The single most appealing thing about a parish is if everyone is singing.

I’ll forgive a lot of shortcomings if you’ve got a parish that sings. Have you ever encountered a parish that sings that’s not active in a host of additional ways? On the flipside, have you ever seen a parish where nobody sings that’s dynamic otherwise? I didn’t think so. Plus, if singing really is praying twice, as St. Augustine might have said, my wife and I need to cram as much prayer into as short a period as possible these hectic days.




Africa is on the Frontlines of Environmental Degradation and the Climate Crisis

In an interview with Crux, millennial Catholic Allen Ottaro, the founder and executive director of the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA), says:

Africa is on the frontlines of environmental degradation, as it faces numerous environmental threats such as biodiversity loss, pollution, climate change, deforestation, water scarcity among others, all of which pose serious challenges for sustaining life, both for present and future generations.

Environmental degradation further compounds the poverty situation on the continent, as it the most vulnerable communities who are most impacted by the effects of environmental degradation. In turn this has impact on the social conditions of the people, for example accelerating rural-urban migration, challenge of food security, access to water and impact on people’s health….

I think that tackling the climate crisis is one of the most urgent environmental needs of our time. Extreme weather-related events such as Cyclone Idai, which destroyed 90 percent of the city of Beira [in Mozambique], is a sobering reminder of the urgency of the climate crisis. In recent weeks and months, several governments have declared a climate emergency. Pope Francis has also joined in declaring a climate emergency, echoing his call in the encyclical letter Laudato Si’.