Conference of Major Superiors Reviews Climate Change

HNP Communications Franciscan World

BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Region V of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men is taking a keen interest in climate change.

The region, which includes Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Kentucky and Kansas, met at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in Belleville, Ill., recently to discuss what religious leaders can do to respond to the effects of climate change.

Dr. Robert Simon, staff director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and a member of Holy Name’s St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Md., spoke to the conference, giving a four-hour presentation on the global climate system.

Simon discussed the melting of polar ice, ocean warming, intense rainfalls, droughts, and other signs of climate change.

Conference participants discussed how each member of society can use energy more efficiently. A report on the Conference was published in the March 24 Provincial Newsletter of Assumption Province in Franklin, Wis.

The Conference recommends that friars have an energy audit of their friaries, replace gas-guzzling cars with more fuel-efficient ones, and use more public transportation. The Conference also encourages friars to write to their elected officials to support legislation to help global warming.

“Going green is a Franciscan way of being in the world today,” the Provincial Newsletter reports. “We need to take action on personal, Provincial, national and international levels. We Franciscans ought to lead by example and then make our voice heard in the public forum. We do not have the luxury of time.”