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You can learn a lot from watching a disease lay waste to your mother. Lessons of despair and sorrow, for sure, but also of joys and hopes—from the help of consummate medical professionals to neighbors and old friends, all working as a team.

It's been months since I've posted. And for weeks, now, I had intended to at least write a wrap-up of the year’s big eco stories, but time and other demands didn’t allow it. Still, some things need to be said.

As I had written about before, the effort to keep my mom at home prevents me from spending much time at the keyboard. Her care has to be my priority. After all, how can one speak with any legitimacy about saving the world without first taking care of a suffering parent?

But there was another reason I’ve written so little of late, especially here.

A goal at Catholic Ecology has been to bridge divides. I’ve begun to wonder, however, what point there is in trying to do this in a world and a Church that often seem so happily divided. Especially when it comes to environmental protection.

The recent Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon...

The Holy Father calls special attention to the Season of Creation in Sunday Angelus

Pope Francis championed today the start of the Season of Creation in a special message at the conclusion of his Sunday Angelus:

Today, 1 September, is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. This is an ecumenical prayer, which enlivens awareness and commitment to protect our common home, starting from a more sustainable individual and communal lifestyle. From today until October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, it's a favorable time to praise God for all his creatures and to acknowledge our responsibility to hear the cry of the Earth. (Translated from the Italian.)

Francis had earlier released a message in light of the Season of Creation, which is provided in full below.

With September 1 upon us, life in Rome and in the eco-movement will get busy again, and, I hope, so will life at Catholic Ecology. Many of you have noted this summer's lack of posting, which I'll make special mention of in an upcoming post on the state of things in the Church, the world, and my corner of creation. Stay tuned.

For now, let us pay heed to the words of Pope Francis as we...

In a message to the scientific community, Cardinal Peter Turkson both acknowledges hope and seeks "an intervention"

It's been four years since His Holiness Pope Francis raised Catholic eco teachings to the level of an encyclical. Since then, many within the faithful have worked hard to help the Church and the world "live Ladauto Si'." This week, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, His Eminence Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, delivered this message to the scientific community to maintain the needed eco-momentum.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of the scientific community,

Some time ago, Pope Francis received some of your colleges, led by the French climatologist Jean Jouzel, a long-serving member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They shared the profound concerns of many scientists, experts in the field, regarding the current climate crisis, caused by man’s interference in nature.

In 2015 I published the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, [1] moving from concerns about the “cracks in the planet that we inhabit” (LS 163) and hoping to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (LS 3). Its publication was intended to encourage the work of the COP 21 Summit, which led to the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change, aiming to maintain the average...

“Resisting Throwaway Culture: How a Consistent Life Ethic Can Unite a Fractured People” should be on every Catholic’s summer reading list.

“There are no single-issue saints.”

In sharing this observation by Archbishop José H. Gomez, Dr. Charles C. Camosy summarizes his latest project, an insightful book that covers a host of hot-button issues in an attempt to bridge divides—a much-needed goal these days.

In his own words. Camosy is attempting to “show what it might look like to live fundamental principles consistently across a range of issues.” He seeks “to focus on underlying values” not engage in “pointed discussions of policy and politics,” the kind that “currently assail and divide our culture.”

Gladly, Camosy is successful in his endeavor.

“Resisting Throwaway Culture: How a Consistent Life Ethic Can Unite a Fractured People” (New City Press, 374 pages) provides the briefest of overviews of Catholic thought on a host of issues. Then the book dives into them. The brevity of the overview is sufficient to get the point—and in this regard, Camosy does what I wish more academics of his caliber would do: write for the average person in the pew.

Camosy’s style is detailed but always accessible. It’s also refreshingly calming as he engages topics most normally heard with fire and fury.

No man is an island

Camosy’s desire to...

“The Biggest Little Farm” documents truths rarely offered on the big screen—and does so beautifully

“Art consists of reshaping life, but it does not create life nor cause it.” Stanley Kubrick

A new, must-see film about a young couple struggling to farm in cooperation with nature is, at its core, a film about life—about its cycles and interconnectedness, its joys and sorrows, its dignity, beauty, and, especially, its inherent order.

In other words, it’s a film about truth, beauty, and goodness.

"The Biggest Little Farm" should be seen for these lessons, yes. But you’re also going to enjoy its striking cinematography. Frame after frame caresses the film’s most important character: Apricot Lane Farm, with its once-dead landscape now green, wet, and alive. It’s imagery you want to walk into. Imagery you can smell and feel squish under your feet.

The ninety-minute film follows John and Molly Chester as they leave their small Los Angeles apartment to rehabilitate a 200-acre farm in the foothills of Ventura County, about an hour north of the city. Neither have prior experience farming. John is a filmmaker (as well as the film’s co-writer and narrator) and Molly is a cook specializing in the use of natural foods.

Combining their talents, they arrive with two goals: to provide their...

Dedicated eco-advocates—especially we Catholic ecologists—should be worried about the ongoing political drama surrounding the Green New Deal.

Progressive politicians here in the States are rightfully calling for drastic eco-action. But they’re going about it the wrong way. While they may be well-meaning, they’re not helping those of us seeking to prompt many of our brothers and sisters in the pews to not only care for God’s creation but to act—and to act decisively.

Two recent conversations prompted me to finally write about this (after several demanding months at home and work, so sorry for the slow pace of posting).

First, I was asked to comment for a story in Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly about what Catholics ought to think about the Green New Deal. Soon after, I was speaking with my former graduate advisor about growing disunity within the Church—as well as the place of ecology in that divide. Ecology hadn’t always been this divisive, he said. Which got me thinking about why it was today.

So, I’ll begin with one of my quotes in the OSV News story:

“When you have hardcore progressive Democrats pushing this issue, it’s immediately going to turn off lots of people who need to listen, because those voices are also championing partial-birth abortion, same-sex marriage and all these



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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.