Global warming now part of seminary teaching

Global warming and the Catholic church do not seem to have any connection, on the face of it.

However, priests are going to be learning about environmental concerns during their formation period at seminaries.

Later, they’ll be expected to preach about the environment at Mass.

How did this topic come to be included in the formation of clergy?

Caring for the environment is a responsibility the Church accepts, just as it accepts responsibility for caring for others, says the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

The Academy believes global climate change is at least partly caused by human activity.

“Protecting the environment and caring for our common home – the Earth, belong fully to the Christian outlook on man and reality.

“Priests should be ‘promoters of an appropriate care for everything connected to the protection of creation’.”

This view is also shared by the authors of  “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation”.

This document sets out how to go about priestly formation.

Regarding stewardship of the environment it says “education must include a study of climate change and other environmental threats”.

The document draws together three decades’ work by three Popes – St John Paul II, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, as well as Vatican bureaucrats.

” … creation care is part of our mission. We are called to be stewards of creation,” the Pontifical Academy of Sciences says.

“It’s [caring for creation] also important because climate change can exacerbate the ills of poverty.

“Poor people in much of the world are the most vulnerable to changes.”

When preaching about global climate change other environmental issues, priests will be taking a “stewardship” perspective.

This will involve preaching on issues like environmental awareness, conservation and management, for example.

At the same time, balanced decision-making that offers mutually beneficial results for people and the environment are both being sought.


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News category: World.

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