Global Climate Change: A Franciscan Challenge
Global climate change is one of the most serious and urgent issues facing the human family. The poor, the most vulnerable and future generations will pay the heaviest price for the harm that has already been done to our environment.
As men and women inspired by St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology, we must be proactive in our response to this spiritual and moral crisis. Challenged by the words of Pope Benedict XVI, who said “our earth is speaking to us and we must listen and decipher its message, if we want to survive,” the time to act is now.
Consider taking one or two of the following steps. As part of your daily spiritual practice, seek guidance for those actions you are able to take and, one day at a time, slowly build in more steps as you are empowered and emboldened.
Gain Insight from the Province’s Climate Change Statement
Learn the Facts about Global Climate Change
- View “Climate Change and Intergenerational Evil,” a video with Michael Dowd. Michael Dowd (born 1958) is an American evolutionary theologian and bestselling author. His book Thank God for Evolution is noteworthy for its breadth and depth of endorsements, including six from Nobel Prize-winning scientists. On April 2, 2009 at the United Nations, Dowd addressed the lack of an evolutionary worldview which he maintains has resulted in a global integrity crisis that requires a deep-time view of human nature, values and social systems to provide a solution for going forward. He maintains a Christian perspective and accepts the theory of evolution.
- Watch 131 years of global warming in 26 seconds.
- View the documentary, “Home“. We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have a few years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth’s climate. However, there are many signs of hope. There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit is leading us to a more just and sustainable future. Dare to be part of this new transformation? Watch this video.
- See more clearly how climate change will have the most harmful effects upon persons who are poor.
- Understand the myths and truths about global climate change.
- Read the National Academies Report on climate change.
Reflect on Climate Change using Our Faith Tradition
- Watch the video “Who’s Under Your Carbon Footprint?“
- Read the message of Pope Benedict XVI “If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation“.
- Learn about the Church’s teachings regarding climate change.
- Reflect on a Franciscan approach to climate change.
- Read the book Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth by Sr. Ilia Delio, OSF, Br. Keith Warner, OFM, and Pamela Wood.
- Learn about what the challenge of climate change has to do with your baptism.
- Take the St. Francis Pledge.
- Consider various ways to save energy and your money. Interfaith Power & Light has wonderful resources to assist local communities in energy saving.
- Share your desire to do something about global climate change with your pastor or lay leaders. Encourage them to offer in your parish an adult Faith Formation program: God’s Creation Cries for Justice/ Climate Change: Impacts and Faithful Response.
- Form a small group and sign up for “C4C,” the Franciscan Action Network’s adult formation care for creation program, to learn and engage the Franciscan approach to caring for the earth.
- Ask the decision-makers in your parish to consider promoting in your local Church Lent 4.5 Christian Simplicity: A 7-week faith formation program for Lent with special bulletin inserts and school resource books.
- Support local, clean-energy initiatives. If you live in Maryland, consider getting involved in Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s campaign focused on offshore wind power. Similar initiatives may exist in other states.
See Our Past Action for Climate Justice
|Creation Care Efforts in Maryland and DC||Creation Care Efforts in Durham, NC||Creation Care Efforts Abroad||Power Shift 2011||Support for Clean Energy in MD||Latino Youth Convention 2008 in Raleigh Diocese||HNP Franciscan Response to Fracking Campaign|
“I have done what is mine to do. May Christ teach you what is yours.”
— St. Francis of Assisi