Stewards of the Earth
The goods of the earth are gifts from God, and they are intended by God for the benefit of everyone. There is a "social mortgage" that guides our use of the world's goods, and we have a responsibility to care for these goods as stewards and trustees, not as mere consumers and users. How we treat the environment is a measure of our stewardship, a sign of our respect for the Creator. Learn more about Catholic Social Teaching.
Since the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, care for creation and environmental justice have become forefront issues for Catholics around the US.
Catholic Climate Petition
We at CMSM have partnered with the Global Catholic Climate Movement to raise awareness about the climate change crisis in the Catholic community.
Pope Francis said: "On climate change, there is a clear, definitive and ineluctable ethical imperative to act." If you agree, click the image at right.
CMSM Statements on Climate Change
- Action Alert: Green Climate Fund
- CMSM Resolution: Cherish All of Creation (PDF)
- CMSM Resolution Resources (PDF)
- Media Release – National Assembly Passes Resolution: Cherish All of Creation – 8-10-2015
- Media Release – Cherish All of Creation – Statement on Pope’s Encyclical – 7-9-2015
- CMSM and LCWR Media Release: Pope Francis and Care for Creation – 6-18-2015
The following are some additional resources on environmental justice and climate change you can use in your religious communities, parishes, and ministries . Advocacy can be as simple as initiating conversations within your community around the environment and as involved as talking with your local politicians and developing school curricula around the issue.
Global Catholic Climate Movement
For a good, comprehensive overview of environmental justice/climate change, please visit the website of Global Catholic Climate Movement. See their banner image at the top right of this page. Not only does the website offer a good overview of the subject matter, but it also includes excellent resources. These materials are helpful in initiating conversations in your communities and parishes. Additionally there are resources for prayer and action. To find out more about the Global Catholic Climate Movement, please visit the website.
Catholic Climate Covenant
Another good resource is the Catholic Climate Covenant. This website provides good, overview materials, as well as some advocacy suggestions for lifting up a Catholic voice on climate change. Especially helpful on the website, is leadership on “Creation Teams” which are designed to help your organization or parish to reduce your carbon footprint. This is a good way to live out Pope Francis’ call for environmental justice. You can also find some encyclical-related resources, as well as some homily helps in both English and Spanish.
Franciscan Action Network
Franciscan Action Network (FAN) also provides an excellent resource for environmental justice. They offer some good suggestions around spirituality and one’s journey in living collaboratively with Earth. Additionally, they also offer some good material on the Franciscan Climate Campaign. Visit the network's website.
Socially Responsible Investing and Purchasing
A key practice for helping to shift the culture to caring for creation is to shift how we invest and purchase. Our resolution concerning investment decisions reads as follows:
We resolve significantly to increase our reliance on green energy in our ministries and buildings, as we also significantly decrease and ultimately "replace without delay" our reliance on fossil fuels in each; and to support these same commitments in any investment decisions.
Watch CMSM’s webinar on green investment and Dayton University's experience of divesting from fossil products.
Check your purchasing at Better World Shopper.