Monday 14 March 2011
Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged Catholics to be open to the possibility of ecological conversion during Lent.
Pope John Paul II called for an “ecological conversion” in 1990 when he reflected on the significant environmental challenges facing the world today
The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that Pope Benedict has continued to call for Christians to respond to the environmental challenges threatening the world, especially climate change.
Lent is a time of repentance and it is a good time for us Christians to reflect on how we and our lifestyles have contributed to the ecological damage and threats the world faces today,” Mr Arndt said.p>
“As we make more time to pray and reflect on scripture, we can take the opportunity to consider to what extent we are wedded to the consumerist culture which dominates our society and contributes significantly to the ecological damage our earth has suffered,” he said.
“Our fasting, too, can take many forms,” he said.
“Not only can we give up some food during Lent, but we could also consider giving up some of the practices which release carbon into the atmosphere,” he said.
“Consciously reducing some of the activities and practices which use electricity or petrol can help us to find a path to spiritual renewal which embraces care for the earth,” he said.
“Lent can be an important opportunity for us to draw closer to God who created the world and to our sisters and brothers who are already facing the consequences of dangerous climate change,” he said.
“God is constantly inviting us to draw closer to our neighbours including Pacific Islanders whose homes are being threatened by rising sea levels and to support them in their time of need,” he said.
“Embracing the challenge to care for the earth certainly means changing the way we live,” he said.
“It also requires us to be prophets who challenge the dominant consumerist culture in our society and the political, business and community leaders who maintain it,” he said.
“If we care for the earth and our brothers and sisters in every part of it, we must not only change our own behaviour, but also challenge our leaders to change their behaviour too,” he said.
“In the face of the serious threat posed by dangerous climate change, we cannot stay silent while our political and business leaders engage in political games which do not have the best interests of the earth and its people in mind,” he said.
“Let’s turn away from our own destructive behaviours and have the courage to also call on our society to turn away from approaches which threaten our world with even greater damage,” he said.
For further information, please contact Peter Arndt on (07) 3336 9173 or 0409 265 476.
NB This release is issued with the approval of the Commission or its Executive under the provision of its Mandate which enables it to speak in its own right. The views expressed in it do not necessarily represent the views of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.