Jesuits Announce Four Areas of Focus for the Next 10 Years

via the Society of Jesus:

Universal Apostolic Preferences are the fruit of a process of discernment lasting almost two years. All Jesuits were invited to take part and in addition our mission partners. It concluded with a confirmation from Pope Francis in a special meeting with Fr General Arturo Sosa. The Preferences give a horizon, a point of reference to the whole Society of Jesus. They capture our imaginations and awaken our desires. They unite us in our mission. The new Preferences are four areas vital for our world today. The Society of Jesus will pay special attention to them in the next ten years.

The four areas are:

  1. Discernment and the “Spiritual Exercises”: Helping people find Jesus Christ and follow Him
  2. Walking with the Excluded: Walk alongside the poor, vulnerable, the excluded and those whom society considers worthless, in a mission of reconciliation and justice
  3. Caring for our Common Home: Work, with Gospel depth, for the protection and renewal of God’s Creation
  4. Journeying with Youth: Accompany young people in the creation of a hopeful future

US Bishops Praise New Climate Change Bill

via USCCB:

After the introduction of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (EICDA) yesterday, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, welcomed the legislation as an important step forward in addressing climate change.

“This bipartisan bill is a hopeful sign that more and more, climate change is beginning to be seen as a crucial moral issue; one that concerns all people. If enacted, this proposal is expected to result in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. At a time when the dangerous effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, the need for legislative solutions like this is more urgent than ever….

Additional in-depth and independent analysis is still needed to fully understand the potential impacts on poor and vulnerable persons, families and their communities. Supplemental support for these households may be needed to further alleviate potential financial burdens. Climate change can only ever be adequately addressed if it is done with an eye towards ‘the least of these.’”


Holy See Backs More Ambitious Climate Agenda

via Vatican:

The consensus on the final document, rather complex and technically detailed, represents a confirmation of the commitments made three years ago in Paris and of the significance of multilateralism.

Unfortunately, we must also note that the rulebook does not adequately reflect the urgency necessary to tackle climate change, which “represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day” (LS, 25). Moreover, the rulebook seems to downplay human rights, critical in reflecting the human face of climate change, which affects the most vulnerable people on earth. Their cry and that of the earth demand more ambition and greater urgency.

The Holy See Delegation, led by the Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, explained that advancing the dignity of the human person, alleviating poverty by the promotion of integral human development, and easing the impact of climate change through responsible mitigation and adaptation measures go hand in hand. We need a just transition period with all parties assuming their respective responsibilities according to the principle of equity.

As the IPCC Special Report issued in October 2018 distressingly indicated, we are called to limit responsibly the average global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Therefore, we encourage much greater ambition in delivering Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and stronger mechanisms toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, managing the decarbonisation of the current fossil fuel-based economy, transparently sharing the way each nation implements its commitments, addressing the issue of loss and damage, ensuring solid financial commitments, and promoting education in sustainability, responsible awareness, and lifestyle changes.

 


Why I Attended Both the Climate March and the March for Life

Millennial editor Robert Christian has a new article at OSV:

In January, I marched at the annual March for Life. In April, I took to the streets of Washington, D.C. once again for the People’s Climate March. On both occasions, I was motivated by the same basic impulse: to stand up for human dignity and resist the throwaway culture that Pope Francis has denounced time and time again….

The pro-life movement is changing. The movement and the March will always have a particular focus on abortion, which is entirely appropriate, given the gravity of legal abortion. But there is a growing recognition that only a whole-life approach can truly address abortion and show an authentic, consistent commitment to protecting the lives and dignity of all people. Thus, marchers carried signs that mentioned not just the unborn, but supporting their mothers, paid family leave, migrants, the unemployed, food stamps, climate change, sexual assault, human trafficking, women’s rights, human rights, people with disabilities and more….

The environmental movement is also changing. At the climate march, people of faith were formally recognized and we marched under our own banner. Giant signs displayed Pope Francis’ quotes from Laudato Si’. Catholics urged their fellow citizens to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. These were recognized as interdependent concerns that should motivate us all to support sustainable integral human development rather than being treated as competing agendas.

You can read the full article here.


Holy See: Social and Environmental Justice are Interconnected

The Holy See’s Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer to the UN Archbishop Bernardito Auza:

Our concern to take greater care for nature should also arouse in us an empathy with those left behind, those who are affected by environmental degradation, and those who are excluded from economic and political processes….

We are not faced with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather one complex crisis that is both social and environmental. Thus, “strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded and protecting nature”. [4] The same principle of interconnectedness binds together the three biggest United Nations processes in 2015, namely, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. There are not three separate challenges of financing development needs, agreeing on new development goals and tackling climate change, but one overarching challenge of how to orient our politics, economies, technology, businesses and personal behavior — indeed, all our efforts — toward a sustainable, integral and authentic development in harmony with nature….

Mr. President, My Delegation welcomes the way in which both the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement acknowledge the central importance of the human person. The 2030 Agenda rightly begins by noting that “the dignity of the human person is fundamental.” In the same vein, Pope Francis has urged that all environmental and development initiatives focus on the innate dignity that we all share in equal measure. This dignity must remain at the center of our debates. In particular, those who are weak and marginalized, those who are poor and ill, the unborn and the elderly alike, the refugees and victims of war and violence, and those disproportionately impacted by greed and indifference must have a special place in the initiatives we pursue. Their sufferings and anxieties, their fears and hopes should not fail to raise an echo in our hearts. The 2030 Agenda’s “determin[ation] to end poverty and hunger… and to ensure that all human beings live in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment”[6] should lie at the heart of our efforts….

We cannot speak of sustainable development apart from intergenerational solidarity. My Delegation urges generosity, solidarity and selflessness as we implement both the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, in order not to leave future generations pay the extremely high price of environmental deterioration.



Bishop Stephen Blaire: The Moral Urgency of Climate Action

In the Morning Consult, Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton writes:

The impacts of climate change are more than harmful: they’re unjust. The poor and vulnerable are disproportionately impacted by these realities despite being least responsible for causing climate change.

And so we are called to act. One way to begin to ease these burdens, to protect creation and to promote the common good, is for people of faith and goodwill to support policies that will reduce the carbon pollution driving climate change. A national standard on carbon pollution, like the Clean Power Plan, deserves our support. When fully implemented, the Clean Power Plan will prevent thousands of premature deaths, dramatically reduce asthma attacks in children, and produce climate and health benefits worth tens of billions of dollars.

The need for action is clear. Thirty Catholic organizations, including dioceses, national groups, universities, and religious orders, have joined with other faith leaders to file an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit saying just that. The brief emphasizes our moral obligation to act on climate change.

As a Catholic bishop committed to the protection of human life and dignity, the promotion of the common good, and the mitigation of climate change, it is my sincere hope that this court will swiftly uphold the legal merits of the Clean Power Plan.

You can read the full article here.