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Social Justice

Earth Justice Ministry Takes Stock of Pope’s Positions

From Terry Wiggins and Mark Gill

“On Care for Our Common Home” (Laudato Sí), the recent encyclical, is the entreaty from Pope Francis for an inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. He calls the world to acknowledge the urgency of our environmental challenges and to join him in embarking on a new path. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops describes it as being “written with both hope and resolve, looking to our common future with candor and humility”.

So many of the words and sentiments in the document parallel Unitarian Universalist principles, and not just the Seventh Principle, “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”  For example, in Chapter Four, “Integral Ecology,” Francis says: “Since everything is closely interrelated, and today’s problems call for a vision capable of taking into account every aspect of the global crisis …”

According to the position of the Catholic Church, the encyclical does not address overpopulation issues in the way UUs might like. Overpopulation is an issue on which many UUs have strong feelings – and we are not all on the same side of the issue.

“Laudato Sí” is available in PDF form on the internet; you can find a link at usccb.org. It is also available in paperback. The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee has copies available for $15.00. Call them directly at 414-276-9050.

At the same time that the Pope’s message is going around the world, local climate activists are coordinating their efforts at home.  The Climate Action Round Table (CART) is having its big “roll-out” meeting on the due date of this Chanticleer issue. This Greater Milwaukee group is bringing together representatives from the Sierra Club, Citizen’s Climate Lobby, League of Conservation Voters, and others. Mark Gill is attending on behalf of the FUSM Earth Justice Ministry, and Terry Wiggins is attending on behalf of the Interfaith Earth Network Southeastern Wisconsin, a program of the Interfaith Conference.

Contact Mark Gill at 1markanthony@earthlink.net or 414-759-3818 to have questions answered or to sign on!

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