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The six-year-old GCCM today announced not just a new name but deeper changes in mission, values

As one of the original founders of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, I was delighted to hear some weeks ago about what’s being announced today: That the Global Catholic Climate Movement, born in 2015 and later inspired by the publication of Pope Francis’s masterful eco-encyclical Laudato Si', was about to take a critical and natural step in its growth.

A Catholic movement made up of more than 800 organizations and thousands of Laudato Si’ Animators around the world, the GCCM spent 2020—the fifth anniversary of its founding—not just in lockdown because of COVID-19, but in the beginnings of a major discernment process about its identity, mission, name, and structures. According to the organization, the process developed in a synodal spirit, involving its members through several rounds of consultations.

One of the most important changes of this process has been the organization’s new mission statement: "To inspire and mobilize the Catholic community to care for our common home and to achieve climate and ecological justice.”

"It is important to note that the mission is being broadened to include the concept of ecological justice, based on the spirit of Laudato Si', where ‘everything is interconnected,’” said Dr. Lorna...

Following up on "Resisting Throwaway Culture," Fordham's Dr. Charles Camosy examines how COVID-19 exposed deep, existing flaws in caring for the elderly, the physically or mentally compromised, and the otherwise least among us

"The culture of relativism is the same disorder which drives one person to take advantage of another, to treat others as mere objects, imposing forced labour on them or enslaving them to pay their debts. The same kind of thinking leads to the sexual exploitation of children and abandonment of the elderly who no longer serve our interests." (Laudato Si’ 123)


Anyone who provides caregiving for a loved one with physical and/or cognitive failings—such as dementia, neurodegenerative diseases, and on the list goes—will encounter uncomfortably familiar territory in Dr. Charles C. Camosy’s latest book, Losing our Dignity: How Secularized Medicine is Undermining Fundamental Human Equality (New City Press).

As a caregiver of a ninety-three-year-old mother with late-stage Parkinson’s, I could write a review with the word count of Dr. Camosy's book. I know firsthand what it takes to advocate for a patient to sometimes overworked, sometimes uncaring medical professionals. I've had to use terms such as "basic human dignity" at doctor's appointments and have taken other steps to remind a physician or nurse or physical therapist that my mom still has life in her.

Dedicated to his parents “who raised [him] … to see the same image...

The Saint Kateri Conservation Center has built a big social media audience these past years. In this guest post, Bill Jacobs, the center's founder, explains how.

Our mission at the Saint Kateri Conservation Center is to promote Catholic faith, ecology, and life. Our programs include social media education and outreach, an online Catholic ecology library, Saint Kateri Habitat Program, Indigenous Peoples Program, and a Catholic land trust.

The center is staffed by volunteers Kat Hoenke and Ronnie O’Brien and myself. Kat and I are professional ecologists, and Ronnie is an educator and farmer who works with Indigenous Peoples. Our board of directors features a variety of professional ecologists, environmentalists, conservationists, and educators.

Since our founding in 2000, we have recognized the value of the internet and social media for reaching the most people possible on a limited budget.

We started online with a Catholic ecology library 21 years ago, sharing authentic Catholic teaching on ecology. This teaching was much more difficult to find in the late 1990s and early 2000s than it is today. We have a search engine in the library that allows users to search quotes and statements from the Bible, saints, popes, and other faithful sources kept in one place.

We have nearly 30,000 followers on social media, which is good but not nearly enough, especially as compared to...

Creighton University and the Catholic Climate Covenant want to help you keep Laudato Si' momentum growing in the US Catholic Church

Catholics in the United States who care about faithfully protecting creation are invited to attend what may very well be a watershed moment for the US Catholic Church. “Laudato Si’ and the U.S. Catholic Church: A Conference Series on Our Common Home,” or "LSUS," is now accepting registration for the July 13-15, 2021 free, virtual gathering.

Co-sponsored by the Catholic Climate Covenant and Creighton University, the event will offer both inspiration and practical takeaways to help one and all better assist their local parishes and dioceses engage eco- and climate issues.

The LSUS conference opens July 13th with keynote addresses by His Eminence Blase Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, and Maureen Day, PhD, Assistant Professor of Religion and Society at the Franciscan School of Theology. Together, they will assess why the U.S. Catholic response to Laudato Si’ has not been commensurate with the urgency and gravity of the climate crisis.

On July 14-15, the conference continues, featuring interactive breakout sessions in eight areas of the U.S. Catholic Church working to more faithfully incorporate Laudato Si’.

These sessions include a session focused on advocacy, communications and the media, working with college and universities,...

Protecting creation is a core Catholic idea—and it goes far beyond the secular notion of eco-protection.

For Catholics, Earth Day is every day for reasons uniquely rooted in the intersection of faith and reason. Catholics look at ecological protection informed by both divine revelation and the harsh realities we know from science and human experience.

This comes with three takeaways that every Catholic should know, share, and live.

1. Our faith is deeply pro-creation. This point can’t be hammered home enough. For Catholics, creation is kind of a big deal because God made it, Christ entered it, and the Church uses it to mediate grace through the Seven Sacraments (especially the Mass)—to say nothing of the promises of the Resurrection for a new heaven and a new earth. This means that eco-protection (that is, caring for the natural order) is non-negotiable for Catholics.

2. Being pro-creation means you’re pro-life and pro-marriage. This also needs to be hammered home again and again. Eco-protection and defending human life, as well as the means by which human life is brought into the world, go hand in hand. We cannot be in the streets saving seals without also fighting for the unborn, the elderly, and the marginalized. Sure, we may have to pick and...

A brief essay by Catholic Ecology's Bill Patenaude looks at a surprising message in Laudato Si' about our expectations of government

Ave Maria Press invited me to contribute to their latest Ave Explores Series with a look at the convergence of government and faith. This was fun to write, since I've had over two decades to reflect on this after my return to the Church in 1999, at which point I had eleven years under my belt as a government regulator.

Here's part of the opening:

In praising international agencies and non-profit organizations for their work in the Amazon ... Pope Francis rightfully applauds efforts to ensure that government fulfills “its proper and inalienable responsibility to preserve its country’s environment and natural resources, without capitulating to spurious local or international interests.” (LS 38). He also makes a general call for pressuring governments to “develop more rigorous regulations, procedures, and controls” for the protection of local, regional, and worldwide ecosystems (LS 179).

To be fully appreciated, however, these expectations require a complete reading of Laudato Si’ with its Christian understanding of the human person and its “everything is connected” call to nurture and protect both our common home and each other. The role of government must certainly include rules and regulations and the will and...

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About the Blog

Catholic Ecology posts my regular column in the Rhode Island Catholic, as well as scientific and theological commentary about the latest eco-news, both within and outside of the Catholic Church. What is contained herein is but one person's attempt to teach and defend the Church's teachings - ecological and otherwise. As such, I offer all contents of this blog for approval of the bishops of the Church. It is my hope that nothing herein will lead anyone astray from truth.