Click here for Office of Advocacy and Justice Calendar of Events
Religious Leaders Address Debt Ceiling Crisis
Clergy and religious leaders gathered near the U.S. Capitol last week to read verses of Scripture charging humanity to care for hungry and poor people. This “Faithful Filibuster” included leaders from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The “Faithful Filibuster” aims to remind congressional leaders of the biblical mandate to protect the most vulnerable people. The Catechism teaches us that the proper role of government is to “make accessible to each what is needed to lead a truly human life.” (#1908) Click here to learn more about this “Circle of Protection” and what you can do.
Farm Bill Update: Conference committee selected
While negotiations continue in the House and Senate about the government shutdown and debt ceiling impasse, the House of Representatives quietly approved a rule to go to conference with the Senate on a new five-year farm bill.
Depending on how the impasse situation is resolved in Congress, it is possible that a final farm bill would be attached to a broader budget bill in November or December. That will depend on how the conferees settle the great difference in the amount of funding to be cut from SNAP (food stamps) and other programs.
For the list of House and Senate conferee members, see this blog posting at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
We will continue to alert our network through this eBulletin about any developments and action alerts. Visit our website for more about the Farm Bill.
- Palestinian president hopes to use pen from pope to sign peace treaty
- In Philippines, fear of aftershocks keeps people in the streets
- Pope meets Rome Jews, commemorates deportations to Auschwitz
- Church workers: Honduran mine concessions fuel human rights abuses
Feast of St. Francis News Coverage
Here are four stories about the success of the Feast of St. Francis program, Melting Ice, Mending Creation: A Catholic Approach to Climate Change. Three of them were highlighted in the National Catholic Reporter article we posted last week:
- At St. Thérèse of Lisieux in Chesapeake, VA, where about half of those attending found it surprising [but pleasing] the Catholic church and its leadership have spoken about the impacts of climate change on the planet as well as its people, especially the poor.
- At St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Indianapolis, attendees felt stunned after seeing the images. Andy Pike, coordinator of the parish’s creation care ministry, recalled people saying the images made climate change obvious, but they also expressed frustration that doubt continues to exist. He said, You can hear something intellectually and you can see facts and figures, but the pictures that Balog showed and the pictures that Balog brought were very dramatic.
- At Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, the program served as a launch for the school to become a Covenant Partner by signing the St. Francis Pledge as an institution.
- Assumption College in Worcester, MA, published an article about its participation in the Coalition’s event Melting Ice, Mending Creation: A Catholic Approach to Climate Change and highlighting the connection to the Church’s pro-life agenda.
Catholic Relief Services’ Hurricane Response in India
The huge cyclone Phailin made landfall in eastern India on October 12. Considered to be the worst storm to hit the region in 14 years, it devastated homes, infrastructure and crops.
Catholic Relief Services staff has visited the worst hit areas to assess urgent needs. These include water purification, sheeting for shelter and hygiene kits. Families will also need long-term assistance with rebuilding homes and recovering from the loss of crops and household goods. CRS has many relief items already in place to reach communities as quickly as possible, but they need your help. Please give generously by donating here.
U.S. Catholic Magazine on Energy and Colleges
U.S. Catholic Magazine recently published two articles that consider the Church’s teaching on creation care and climate change. The first, How Will Climate Change Affect the Next Generation? observes that [s]o-called “cheap” energy sources will have a high cost for future generations and is inconsistent with the Catholic concept of intergenerational solidarity.
Another article, How college campuses are going ‘green,’ spotlights how many Catholic colleges and universities are connecting environmental sustainability with Catholic mission. The article says that for many schools, living out the Catholic faith includes filling compost bins, installing solar panels, and promoting conservation in all aspects of daily life. The article particularly highlights how schools are using the Coalition’s St. Francis Pledge and Sustainability in Catholic Higher Education: A Toolkit for Mission Integration.
Examples of Creation Care Ministries
Catholic News Service recently posted a video about how Mary Immaculate Parish in Dublin, Ireland, is integrating Catholic theology on the environment. The video points out the importance of conducting an energy audit (assess) and then how Mary Immaculate parish acts on that assessment. The video also highlights that environmental degradation is one of the most important moral issues of the twenty first century.
Edna Lord, a parishioner at St. John the Baptist Parish in Hillsdale, NJ, reports that the parish recently installed more than 170 energy efficient bulbs, replaced the parish boiler with one that has a 94% energy efficiency rating, and installed new energy efficient air conditioning units across its buildings.