I want to share with you and debunk a few commonly held views about how others will save us from our ecological crisis, in the hope of empowering us to take action ourselves.
Today it is the Pope himself being challenged as a heretic of sorts. He is a heretic to those who subscribe to the conventional, reductionist belief system that sees science as separate from spirituality, and religion as separate from politics and economics.
We are not on the front lines and therefore we do not have the interest in climate change that people with a more direct connection to nature feel.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Unless there is at least one institution, such as the church, dedicated to posing the ethical dilemmas present in the public policy debate, there is a grave danger that these debates automatically become subsumed by the pragmatic considerations of politics.
As a Catholic who observed closely the resignation of the emeritus pope and elevation of Jorge Bergoglio, in March of 2013, with hope and some suspicion, I find myself vexed by the profuse adulation Pope Francis I received during his visit to the United States.
Millennials of faith who care about animals have traditionally struggled to find a receptive ear in the church. When faced with the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the Holy Father, we felt as though we were standing in their shoes.
Churches and institutions of higher education are beginning to take this moral imperative seriously. There are people of good will who are making changes, and there are decent people whose highest priority is to protect investment portfolios--not the planet.
Pope Francis, addressing climate change before a Congress dominated by Republicans -- more than half of whom deny its reality -- and Democrats who despair of doing anything about it, was a prophet of hope rather than doom. If Francis can make a difference here, he may yet go down in history as the pope who saved the world.
Pope Francis is about to set a new record, a diplomatic triple backflip that will be hard to top: three completely different summits in three days.
According to Christian theology and Judeo-Christian traditions, there is nothing that is more the pope's business (and, indeed, the business of all Christians) than the stewardship of God's creation and our theological and spiritual reflection and proclamation regarding God's creation.
In his statements and actions, Pope Francis reveals a commitment to emulate the earthly ministry of Jesus. This is particularly clear in the Pope's focus not only on the condition of humanity's inner selves, but even more so on the conditions in which so much of humanity lives.
We cannot separate our dignity from that of other creatures. It is just as intrinsically linked to that of the starving poachers of Zimbabwe as it is to that of the animals they are poaching. If we really do have intrinsic individual worth, its value ought to be greater than any mantelpiece trophy.
At the beginning of the great Hindu epic, The Ramayana, the sage Valmiki takes an early morning walk with a student in a beautiful forest, by a river. Valmiki is ecstatic about the beauty and peace of the place, and praises the pure water for being like a good man's heart.
As public servants working in both domestic policy and diplomacy, we understand the urgent need for global action. Climate impacts like extreme droughts, floods, fires, heat waves and storms threaten people in every country -- and those who have the least suffer the most.
The pope provides a moving and profound view on the deep connection between environmental and social issues, between humans and animals, and between spiritual and practical. He also hits head-on the contentious issue of man's "dominion" over nature: Many have interpreted the Bible to indicate that man should conquer nature, but the pope explains how wrong that reading is.
Leading up to the release, much of the news coverage talked about an upcoming "climate declaration." Yes, this is a core part of the discussion, but the Pope is clearly concerned with environmental conditions overall.