San Jose bishop asks parishioners to take ‘Saint Francis Pledge’ on Earth Day

The following letter by San Jose Bishop Patrick McGrath has been posted to the diocesan website. It is dated March 9.

Dear Friends,

In 2009, the Diocese of San Jose formed the Catholic Green Initiative and asked all parishioners to sign the “Saint Francis Pledge.” With this Initiative, we have created educational programs and action plans to encourage and assist the San Jose Catholic community to live and operate more simply and sustainably. In the intervening years we have seen how environmental degradation and climate change are affecting God’s creation, including people here and all over the world. This is a particular tragedy because it is the poorest and most vulnerable who suffer the worst, even though they have contributed the least to these problems. This fact prompted Pope John Paul II to declare that “the ecological crisis is a moral issue” and Pope Benedict XVI to call upon us to become ”true guardians of life and creation.” 

It is fitting that on Earth Day, April 22nd, we ask our parishioners to renew their commitment to the Saint Francis Pledge. By taking this pledge we agree to:

Pray to reflect on our responsibility to care for God’s creation and protect the poor and vulnerable;

Learn about and educate others about climate change;

Assess how we contribute to climate change in our homes, our schools, our parishes and in the chancery;

Act to reduce our climate change impact;

Advocate Catholic principles in climate change discussions and policy work.

Our Catholic Social Justice Teaching impresses upon us that nature is not something to exploit; rather, is God’s creation to preserve. We are called to celebrate the splendor of God’s handiwork, to be good stewards of creation, and to safeguard the integrity of all that God has made. Prayerfully consider how you can join us in this important initiative.

With every best wish and kind regard, I remain,

Sincerely yours,

Patrick J. McGrath
Bishop of San Jose


Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 12:14 AM By Sawyer
So glad that I don’t live in that diocese anymore. Climate change/global warming activism is a front for leftists to attain control of world governments and populations. Besides, the whole hysteria surrounding anthropogenic climate change is being shown to be unfounded, as data are demonstrating that no significant warming is occurring and fraud in global warming “science” has been documented. To make environmentalism a diocesan priority in such a superficial way simply makes the diocese and the bishop and the Catholic Faith look absurd.

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 12:48 AM By Bob
Bishop McGrathi is a great shepherd! I knew him as a parish priest many years ago. He was a strong, caring and creative Pastor. God Bless Him!

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 2:15 AM By Sue in soCal
Oh, good grief! Climate change? From the bishop? Really? What about pro-life concerns??? What happened to just being good stewards?

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 3:03 AM By PETE
Climate Change also known as Global Warming has never been proven scientifically. In fact, many scientists believe it to be fake. We know that it is used by Al Gore, Obama, and others to control population along with abortion and contraception. It is also used to make people rich with our tax dollars through green businesses and their stock options – such as SOLANDRA. Breathing by people and animals which produces carbon is not a sin. In fact carbon is necessary for life on earth to continue. Obama has put out a press release that he intends to work on global warming when re-elected. And this Diocese seems to fall into line at the appropriate time for the election. When is this Diocese going to teach the Catholic Faith – per the CCC instead of unproven science ?

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 3:10 AM By MAC
Please see: ” GLOBAL WARMING UNMASKED: The Hidden Agenda ” by RealCatholicTV on the internet. In addition to the video, written documentation is also provided. After viewing the video and documentation, why do you suppose that Obama moved Faith Based Initiatives under the Environmental Protection Agency? – So they can be used for his purposes? Are US Bishops going to be duped again ?

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 3:11 AM By Mandy
We don’t need the Church to tell us to pick up after ourselves. – The Government does that. We need our Bishops to teach the Faith instead. Far too many Catholics do not know their Faith – as stated in the CCC.

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 3:22 AM By Joe
Its Springtime within the a small portion of the Church. Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah, PLEASE !!!!

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 5:09 AM By Ed
Where is “Catholic Green Initiative” in the Bible, or the CCC? It does not exist in any Doctrine of the Faith that must be believed as part of our Faith and Morals. Our Bishops need to concentrate on our Faith for the Salvation of Souls rather than politcally correct notions. We don’t need our Bishops to tell us to recycle, etc.

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 5:11 AM By Cansius
Another victim of the green scam movement….sigh

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 6:21 AM By John Maloy
What climate change? Seems to me it would be much more important to ask San Jose Catholics to protest a Healthcare Bill which shackles the Catholic Church and threatens freedom of religion..

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 7:52 AM By JMJ
It is too bad that these Bishops are more concerned about the lies of global warming, now called “climate change”, instead of the salvation of souls, of which Jesus suffered and died for. Who cares about “green” when one is suffering for eternity in hell? I already sent the Bishop an e-mail telling him this. +JMJ+

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 8:04 AM By Cody in Tucson
Wow, if only this Bishop was around when the earth’s climate went from the very tropical vegetation of the dinosaur era to the ice age then that transition wouldn’t have happened. What climate change is he talking about? The change from summer to autumn to winter to spring? First he prays for those “poor and vulnerable” people who will be the most victimized by the environmental policies of his friends in the hard left. Common, Bishop, aren’t you smarter than that!

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 8:12 AM By Laurette Elsberry
Another proponent of the socialist fear tactic agenda re the “climate change” hoax.

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 8:18 AM By RWhite
So is earth day now a holy day? is it a holy day of obligation ?.As far as learning about climate change and educating others does this include the East Anglia email expose on the inflated claims of global warming ? also I remember from the 70’s the whole global cooling / new ice age didn’t we go back to that recently ?. What if this is caused by the normal cycles of the planet ? ( that would be the work of God) how to we respond then ?Assessing how we contribute does that mean no heat in the winter no a/c in the summer ? how about how this effects the economy ? a poor economy means a worse environmental record , look at poorer countries and their environment as compared to a western style one . I would caution this bishop that these feel good poorly thought out missives do more harm then good , the left is sadly all over the environmental movement , as well as those who worship gaia not God or his blessed mother, Catholic social teaching and the faith is held in contempt by such people , it will be used and abused and discarded at the appropriate time .I refer to the current contraception / health care debate as a prime example of the duplicity and scorn that the church as advocate for such misinformed and I believe unconstitutional policies promoted . How far do we go in these efforts ? what about China and India who have shown a lack of concern about the environment ? Keeping our economy strong is the best way to protect the environment and caring for God’s people.

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 8:39 AM By Anne T.
Many people were brought up with the old English adage “Waste not, want not”, and Christians used to call it Christian Stewardship. My husband was raised in a very large family, so the two of us have been conserving since childhood. This must be the new name for the same thing — Social Justice, Earth Day — but the terms Social Justice and Earth Day have come to have bad connotation in certain Christian circles, so I prefer the older term — Christian Stewardship –or even the newer one — the St. Francis Pledge. Many people believe there has been “global warming” down through the ages and all along and some of the global warming scare was and is a hoax, but we do need to conserve and find other sources of running automobiles for many reasons. Nevertheless, I believe, we do need to use our own oil sources to bring prices down and get off of foreign products until we find other replacements.

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 8:51 AM By OneoftheSheep
“Caring for God’s creation.” I have to believe this means a stand against the abortion mills in the community, the chemical abortion pills which pollute the environment, the ant-life attitudes that pervade our society.

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 9:10 AM By k
Climate change is not disputed. What is disputed is whether carbon emissions are what is causing it. Bishop McGrath appears to believe it is. Many believe it is simply a climate cycle that the planet is going through. Whatever it’s cause, the real issues are an increase in natural disasters and a decrease in world food production. We have had a very warm winter in parts of the US. The cold may come in spring after crops have started to grow and destroy the plants. We have had a large outbreak of storms that have caused much loss of life and property. In prior times, these things were understood to be acts of God. They were seen as punishments for sins or trials to be borne for love of Him. I don’t know that reducing our carbon emmissions will change it, (I think reducing our sins would go further to alleviate it) but it is something we can consider as an act of mortification or a sacrifice for the conversion of sinners.

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 9:50 AM By Catherine
Obama is about to deliver a great climate change to the Catholic Church. Disordered priorities and spiritual neglect helped Obama into the White House. The Francis Pledge = “Go Francis and repair my house, which as you can see is falling into ruin.”

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 10:04 AM By pete
Funny how some clerics can not see a connection between man’s self-separation from God and his Natural Law and man’s alienation from Nature, including Human nature. OR how changes in the solar system, which we have no control over, are causal, like changes in the electro-magnetic fields. Lent deserves more direct exhortations related to Our Lord’s Passion and our need of conversion.

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 10:15 AM By VirgoPotens
Oh, I’m learning about and educating others about climate change. Just not using the sources the Bishop would probably approve of. But don’t we already have an “environment guy” among the California bishops (+Blaire in Stockton)? Can’t +McGrath pick up a new pet cause, such as high speed rail or our underfunded space exploration program?

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 10:30 AM By MacDonald
2011-11-28 Vatican Radio — “On Sunday Pope Benedict expressed the hope that “all members of the international community might reach agreement on a responsible, credible response,” to the phenomenon of climate change, which he described as “complex” and “disturbing”. In remarks, which followed the Angelus, the Holy Father also asked that leaders’ response be consonant with the spirit and requirements of solidarity, taking into account the needs of the poorest people and future generations. His remarks came ahead of a UN Climate Change Conference which begins today in Durban, South Africa.”

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 10:40 AM By Tracy
St. Francis of Assisi pray for us! Let us all turn to this powerful saint’s intercession asking that the attack on his reputation will stop and that all Catholics, including our clergy, will once again return to humble obedience of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 11:41 AM By MacDonald
For those who agree the CATECHISM has something to offer: “#339 Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection. For each one of the works of the “six days” it is said: “And God saw that it was good.” “By the very nature of creation, material being is endowed with its own stability, truth and excellence, its own order and laws.” Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment.” {Or we could just ravage the planet, leaving a wasteland for our children and grandchildren. I’m sure they would be MOST grateful.}

Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 11:41 AM By Anne T.
Yes, Tracy, some in the neo-pagan community have kidnapped and attacked the character of St. Francis of Assisi and demoted him to nothing but a “save Mother Earth” type of garden figure instead of a devout Catholic who followed Christ’s teachings, even on human sexuality. Although he was a mild mannered man in his later years, he could preach hell fire too when needed. There is nothing wrong with him as a garden figure if it is kept in perspective, but too many people do not know anything about the real man and what he taught.