As the world waited Thursday morning for President Donald Trump to make his big announcement about the Paris Climate Accord, I had the pleasure of spending time with The Most Reverend Stephen E. Blaire, the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Stockton, California. It was a providential time to speak of the Church’s eco teachings, and how faith and politics must work together to address the great crises of our age—especially environmental ones.
This was Bishop Blaire’s first visit to Rhode Island. He came to give the keynote address at the College Theology Society’s annual conference, which is being held this week at Salve Regina College in Newport—a coastal community already being impacted by rising seas and more common flooding.
Given the events of the past days, I asked him about his thoughts on how the Church might respond if (as he did), President Trump pulls out of Paris.
“We’re going to have to be very forthright in whatever happens today,” Bishop Blaire said. “We’re going to have to reaffirm our values” related to caring for the Earth. “We’re going to have to respond, to demand political action—but we have to rise above politics,” he added.
Bishop Blaire is no newcomer to issues of social and ecological concerns. As I posted about in 2014, his diocese is a model for engaging the wider community in which a local Church lives. More recently, Bishop Blaire has been tasked by the California Catholic Conference to assemble and chair an ad hoc committee on the environment, with the goal of organizing diocesan eco-efforts on a statewide basis—no easy task in a corner of creation the size of the Golden State.
Both his keynote address Thursday night and much of his work back home have been informed by a series of four addresses given by Pope Francis to gatherings of World Meetings of Popular Movements—two in Italy, one in Bolivia, and one, via letter, to a final meeting in Modesto, California, in Bishop Blaire’s diocese.
“A common thread in all these talks,” Bishop Blaire said, “was care for the Earth. Pope Francis is quite clear that the environmental crisis is real, and that time is running out…and that this may be the most important task facing us.”
Acknowledging Pope Francis’s academic background, “he knows what happens when we deny science—and that we must build a moral response based on what science is telling us.” The bishop added, “we’re not making doctrine from science. We’re just responding to it.”
In that light, and given worries that the White House has subjugated eco-protection to the needs of business, Bishop Blaire pondered how to defend life on Earth within the political realities in which the Church exists. Here the bishop again stressed the need for the Church to rise above politics—while demanding action. Referring to the Holy Father’s address in Bolivia, Bishop Blaire stressed the papal admonition that “[o]ur common home is being pillaged, laid waste and harmed with impunity,” adding that “cowardice in defending Mother Earth is a grave sin.”
An example of how this is done comes, not surprisingly, from the bishop’s diocese, which has excelled at engaging community leaders—both elected officials and bureaucrats, as well as those from non-profit advocacy groups. This allows the Church to engage and, when possible, elevate conversations related to policy. Similarly, the environmental committee that Bishop Blaire will be chairing for the California Catholic Conference will advise and assist the dioceses and local churches in California about eco and public health issues.
“The goal is to advance Laudato Si’ in terms of public policy,” the bishop said.
Full story at Catholic Ecology blog.
That conference in Modesto in February that Blaire was involved in…..was full of Saul Alensky followers!!!!!! Check it out on the internet. Very Sad!
And where is he and others in the Church when it comes to speaking out against ABORTION? Very FEW of our Shepherds actually speak up, and to show up and pray outside an abortion mill!! If you don’t have LIFE, nothing else matters.
Crickets from the podiums.
Bishop Blaire is a courageous, faithful and intelligent Catholic. Thank you Bishop Blaire for your leadership!
Thank you bishop? As if Catholics in California NEED their money spent on a bishops’ advisory committee to aledgedly update the parishes regarding the ecological issues of our day? Are you kidding? How stupid do these bishop’s think the people of California are? Consistent Catholic teaching on the stewardship of this earth and Catholic laity who are well-formed in Catholic Social Doctrine is NOT what the bishops are developing here. Pope Francis has aligned himself and the Vatican with George Soros. The California Catholic Conference is spearheading this political movement which is not Catholic – but is aligned with the globalists, atheists, secular humanists, population control, communists-modernists. Reminds us of the Catholic Campaign…
CONTINUED for Human Development. Different name, same con game. Smoke and mirrors! This is not Catholic theological teaching on the environment as taught by St. John Paul II nor Benedict XVI. This is about social engineering and MONEY. This is about the moving of BILLIONS from the USA to other counties. Is this the leftist cause that bishops demand and assume Catholic faithful must fund now? donating their hard earned dollars without question? – paying for the bishop’s to form leftist political-secular ideologically-based committees to supply materials to influence voters and empower lobbyists for a distinctly leftist cause? And the rest of the faithful in the Church in California don’t even have a say in ANY of this? Catholics must…
CONTINUED Catholics must demand an accounting of where their money is going. When was the last audit done on these types of committees??? We pray the light of God shines through this present darkness soon.
Ignorant, cowardly bishop. Has he ever spoken in such strong terms in support of something that wasn’t PC?
Gee can you imagine if these shepherds were half as loud mouthed on abortion as they were about the false science of “climate change”
Bohemond, almost all, if not all, “scientific data” about the lack of climate change comes from paid scientist who’s material is not peer-reviewed. It is a hoax, false news, if you will. Goebells, a key leader of the Third Reich said that – a lie told once is still a lie, but a lie told a thousand times is the truth. That is what we have here. People who claim that there is no global warming are telling un-truths. Science is true, even if you don’t want to believe it. 2016 was the warmest year since we have been keeping history. Do you think that all the bad weather, mountains of snow in the west, more tornadoes that usual, flooding all over the South East, etc. just happens because God is mad at us. No. He is mad at us, but…
Without going into great detail here, climate has always been in flux. Don’t know that anyone disputes that. The question is, do observed changes in climate patterns fall within the range of natural variations and long-term trends? Or do we need to bring in some extraordinary cause (us?) to explain what is observed? Despite claims to the contrary, that is the real question, and the jury is still out on that. It does not help that data management agencies have been ‘adjusting’ historical data, making warming appear more consistent / stronger trend than it may actually be. I’d rather look at raw data without imposing interpretations on it – need to keep those activities separate. Too much to discuss here . . .
The Bishop is being used by others and has no idea what he is involved in. He ought to stick to religion about which he is supposed to be an expert and leave politics to others who know what they are talking about.
Bob One stop trying to school me there is not one iota of scientific evidence of your religion of global warming caused my man. All of this scam is based on models that have already proven to be flawed, rigged, and manipulated to get a certain in line with globalist agenda. And what is that ? CONTROL over our lives, money, property and to take as much from us as they can. I will on purpose buy a huge SUV, run my air conditioner all night long, keep my house warm in the winter. How do you know that the data claiming there is no global warming is not peered reviewed did MSNBC tell you that. You would be quite happy with the middle class crushed by more and more taxes for false god.
Bohemond, you continue to pummel us with lies and weird notions of a globalist agenda. I don’t know what that is. If you do not think that we live on a globe and that one nation interacts with the others or the climate of one doesn’t effect others, I just don’t know where to start. Have you seen the pollution in Beijing and then seen pictures of it floating out to sea after many miles inland? Have you not seen San Francisco’s smog travel down the Bay and out to the Valley and into Fresno? Do you understand the basics of the science? I would venture to say that even Rush couldn’t come up with the things you said without laughing.
I’m going to save this article in my “Corruption in the Church” folder. This bishop is parroting all the talking points and hackneyed slogans of the climate hysterics. He seeks to confuse us by juxtaposing “care for the Earth” with support for Draconian measures that would raise taxes, increase regulation, and restrict our freedoms – all based on a flawed theory and a science that is definitely not “settled.” He is worshiping the creation instead of the Creator, and doing a pretty bad job of it. We have genocide of Christians in the Middle East, rampant contraception and abortion, failing families, gender confusion, and a clergy sex-abuse scandal. It’s time for the “Most” Reverend Bishop Blaire to focus his attention…
My jaw just literally dropped when I read Vincent Fitzpatrick’s comment on the facebook thread. The warmest years on record were last year, the year before, the year before that, and the year before that, yet he claims – citing no sources – that there has been no climate change in the last 20 years, and makes the utterly preposterous statement that there is too LITTLE CO2, even though there is currently more CO2 in the atmosphere than we have had in over a million years. Making up facts is a hallmark of the alt right. Alternative facts, like his, will cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. Don’t buy his heap of garbage.
YFC: talk about making up facts – “more CO2 in over a million years”…I would love to see the data that was collected on that one! Trust in God who created the universe; we are stewards, not creators. We are sadly lacking in humility when we think we can manipulate the course of this world.
Bishop Blaire needs to stay within his sphere of competence. He has done a miserable job as bishop of Stockton. He should be raising Catholic interest in identifying and avoiding sin and its near occasion, as well. Why? Well, B. Blaire’s entire existence is justified by his acting as a true shepherd, leading his flock towards salvation. No Catholic is bettered by reading of B. Blaire’s dopey views on economics, including wage inequality, and the environment. How about preaching tirelessly on avoiding sexual activities, including adultery, fornication and homosexual varieties thereof, B. Blaire?
You are a fraud and should not receive the kind of grand retirement usually given to feckless bishops in America.
St. C, I agree. Let’s have the Bishop concentrate of some of the many parts of the teachings of the Church. In a nutshell, here are the basics of teachings about social justice: The seven principles of Catholic social teaching are: Dignity of the Human Person, Call to Family, Community and Participation, Rights and Responsibilities.Preferential Option for and with People who are Poor, Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers.Solidarity, and.Care for God’s Creation. Note the last one. That puts him squarely on the side of the Church, taking care of the planet. There are other teaching, obviously, but talking about one set of principals doesn’t mean the others aren’t important too.
Bob One not an iota about the salvation of souls, reason he does not believe in it nor do most of the bishops
“God intends for us to take responsibility for how we treat God’s creation, and if we choose to use the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet as an open sewer for 110-million tons of global warming pollution every day, the consequences are attributable to us.” A former Vice President’s take on our current situation. Bohemond, follow the real science and you will want to help keep the planet healthy.
No Truth Bob One your god is the false god of climate change..I will agree with you on one thing California is an open sewer, in more ways than one. Your so called license is bought and paid for by globalist scum.
Go to the web site and read his homilies!
Does this mean that the Politically Correct will be addressing the main issues of global climate change – meaning heretofore ignored facts about the SUN and its effects, or Volcanos spewing dirt in the air???
Lets all pledge to forget that Greenland was once covered in Green Trees (within human memory), and is now an ice shelf.
Is that due to ‘global warming’ too?
BTW – Air Pollution is for real, and often human made (like Being China on most days) – is that the same as the Sun going through its cycles and the potential for Solar Flares to destroy much of the infrastructure (as has happened before) on Earth?
Or is George Soros the leader of All Churches – that Conform to his hateful ideology?
Trust me YFC, we don’t buy your heap of garbage.
More secular atheist preaching from a failed bishop and a failed episcopal conference.
Where is Jesus Christ in your many perorations, Bp. Blaire? Lenin was an environmental redistributionist, too, and could teach all the same things you teach, hardly changing a word.
A real RC Bishop would have said: “We’re going to have to reaffirm our Christian moral values” related to caring for the souls. ‘We’re going to have to respond, to motivate souls to desire and strive for Heaven by pleasing God—but we have to rise above in the Roman Catholic faith putting God first and foremost,’ he added.
Later in the article it says: ““A common thread in all these talks,” Bishop Blaire said, “was care for the Earth. Pope Francis is quite clear that the environmental crisis is real, and that time is running out…and that this may be the most important task facing us.”
Goes to show where his and his boss’ priorities lie, and how they have fallen for a scam.