Office of Advocacy and Justice Updates

Advocacy Efforts
Action: Ask Senate to move on climate and energy legislation
Catholic Ecology and Pope Benedict XVI
Climate-Friendly Gardening: Resource from Union of Concerned Scientists
Food & Water Watch Guide to Safe Tap Water
October 4: Start Now Planning to Promote the St. Francis Pledge!
Oil Spill Offers a Lesson in Catholic Social Teaching
Pro-Life Chair Welcomes HHS Exclusion of Abortion from Federal Insurance Program, Calls For Permanent Law
Resources

Advocacy Efforts
Action: Ask Senate to move on climate and energy legislation
Catholic Ecology and Pope Benedict XVI
Climate-Friendly Gardening: Resource from Union of Concerned Scientists
Food & Water Watch Guide to Safe Tap Water
October 4: Start Now Planning to Promote the St. Francis Pledge!
Oil Spill Offers a Lesson in Catholic Social Teaching
Pro-Life Chair Welcomes HHS Exclusion of Abortion from Federal Insurance Program, Calls For Permanent Law
Resources

Pro-Life Chair Welcomes HHS Exclusion of Abortion from Federal Insurance Program, Calls For Permanent Law
Following public criticisms of new federally-funded health insurance plans that would have covered elective abortions in Pennsylvania and New Mexico, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a statement that the agency will act to exclude abortion from this program. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, welcomed the statement as averting an “alarming precedent” and called for permanent law to exclude abortion from all programs under the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  Read more…

Food & Water Watch Guide to Safe Tap Water
You may have recently received a local water quality report in the mail. This is a useful tool, but it can be difficult to read. Food & Water Watch has created a new guide to help you understand what’s in your water: Guide to Safe Tap Water.

Your local water utility is required to provide a water quality report each year, which includes information about the source of your drinking water and any detected contaminants. While this report includes important information, it can be hard to decipher if you aren’t sure what to look for. Consumers across the country are turning back to the tap and supporting public water systems. Tap water is thousands of times cheaper than bottled water and better for the environment, not to mention that tap water standards are actually more stringent than those for bottled water.

Climate-Friendly Gardening: Resource from Union of Concerned Scientists
Most home gardeners already see evidence of global warming in their own backyards. Droughts, floods, pests, and weeds can challenge even the greenest thumb. But you can do more than merely adapt to these new conditions: you can make choices in your garden that don’t add to the problem. A new resource from the Union of Concerned Scientists“The Climate-Friendly Gardener: A Guide to Combating Global Warming from the Ground Up” — summarizes the science of linking plants, soil, carbon dioxide, and other heat-trapping gases. It also offers suggestions for planning a garden that take advantage of these connections.

Catholic Ecology and Pope Benedict XVI
This video helps illustrate the key points about stewardship and care for the poor as outlined in Pope Benedict’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate, including his powerful words: “The Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere. In so doing, she must defend not only earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to everyone. She must above all protect mankind from self-destruction. There is need for what might be called a human ecology… the deterioration of nature is in fact closely connected to the culture that shapes human coexistence: when human ecology is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits…The book of nature is one and indivisible: it takes in not only the environment but also life, sexuality, marriage, the family, social relations: in a word, integral human development. Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person …”
See the video.

Oil Spill Offers a Lesson in Catholic Social Teaching
Fr. John Rausch, a Glenmary priest, board member of Coalition partner, the National Catholic Rural Life Conference (NCRLC), and long-time advocate for the poorest people of Appalachia, said in the Diocese of Arlington newspaper that, While secular publications raise the issues of economic impact and legal liability, people of faith are reflecting on phrases like ‘common good,’ ‘solidarity’ and ‘care of creation.’ NCRLC issued a statement encouraging people of faith to “ask for the wisdom to live in harmony with God’s plan and the courage to serve as stewards of God’s creation.
Please read his thoughtful piece here.

October 4: Start Now Planning to Promote the St. Francis Pledge!
The Feast of St. Francis (October 4) provides a prime opportunity to promote the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor, especially for parishes, schools and youth groups.  On our website , you will find prayers, bulletin inserts, and liturgy suggestions to celebrate the life and witness of St. Francis and to encourage participation by families, parishes, youth groups, schools and other organizations.  We will post additional resources in the weeks ahead.  In the meantime, please visit
http://catholicclimatecovenant.org/the-st-francis-pledge/ to get started!

Advocacy Efforts:

Action: Ask Senate to Move on Climate and Energy Legislation
As Congress returns to Washington this week, there is a possibility that the Senate will move forward on a climate and energy bill during the week of July 19th. NCRLC continues to urge our network to contact their senators and help ensure that the world’s poorest people not be left out. The final legislation should include a program for adaptation to serious climate impacts in the most vulnerable developing countries.
 
Please contact your senators. Call or send an email and them that you are a person of faith who cares deeply about poverty and climate issues. The United States has a responsibility to support vulnerable communities and nations in building resilience and adapting to the effects of climate change, such as increased storms, floods and drought, and spread of disease. Supporting climate-preparedness will help promote global security and stability, and will save lives and money by helping to decrease the damage caused by climate change.

Action: Add your name to Environmental Defense sign-on letter
American presidents from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush have talked about our need to reform our energy policies and end our addiction to fossil fuels. President Obama has expressed the need for leadership in the Senate’s efforts to pass a strong climate and energy bill. You can help by adding your name to an open letter to President Obama. Let him know we support real energy reform now.

Resources

Sowing the Seeds
by Wendell Berry
In sowing the seed, my hand is one with the earth.
Wanting the seed to grow, my mind is one with the light.
Hoeing the crop, my hands are one with the rain.
Having cared for the plants, my mind is one with the air.
Hungry and trusting, my mind is one with the earth.
Eating the fruit, my body is one with the earth.

Please visit Spirituality Resources webpage for prayers and reflections.