Timed to mark the 4th anniversary of Laudato si’ – Pope Francis’s landmark document on the environment – the Catholic bishops of California have released a major pastoral statement calling for statewide ecological conversion.
“God Calls Us All to Care for Our Common Home,” was released on Tuesday, June 18, by the California Conference of Catholic Bishops, “to animate and energize the implementation in California of what Laudato si’ calls us to do, and to offer a dynamic teaching and evangelization tool for our Catholic faith community and beyond, especially for young people.”
The 17-page document is divided into two sections, with the first half offering a reflection on the natural beauty of California, followed by a call to action on how all residents of the state are able to live out particular “ecological vocations” to aid the common good….
Similar to Laudato si’, the document also makes the link between care for natural resources and care for all of creation with a condemnation of abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide.
The second half of the document, “Living our Ecological Vocations,” offers a range of specific challenges and recommendations to a number of constituencies, among them families, policymakers, business leaders, and young people.
In terms of concrete proposals, it states that “individuals and families, no matter how rich or poor, can conserve energy on a daily basis by considering the full energy budget of any purchase, such as an appliance, a vehicle, or a home.”
In addition, public officials are encouraged to enact and promote policies that improve air quality, strengthen the water systems, and transition from a fossil-based economy that does not burden the state’s poor….
Ahead of the pastoral statement’s release, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego told Crux that he hopes it serves as an effective tool in providing both a deeper understanding of ecological concerns and cause for action.
“The pastoral letter captures the awesome beauty of nature in California, the heartbreaking destruction both of nature and marginalized communities which is being inflicted by humanity on a daily basis, and a series of hope-driven yet realistic pathways of state level action that can lead to a restoration of God’s intentions for our relationship with the created order at this moment in our history,” he said….
– from a June 18 story in Crux