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Friday, November 30, 2012

Supporting (eco-friendly) artisans in the Holy Land

Photo: Flicker/pldrtbrennan

News about the approaching Christmas shopping season—of strikes at Walmart, economic projections, and angry consumers—calls my attention to a group of artisans in the Holy Land that are seeking economic stability and peace—and who seek to do so in ecologically mindful ways.

The Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans is a coalition of craftspeople that make a wide range of religious and artistic goods. They seek to use their God-given talents to feed their families and bring order to local economies. Moreover, they desire to sell their wares in a time challenged by growing hostilities, bombings, and political turmoil. They are a people of various faiths but they seek to communally abide by fair-trade practices, which means that they have shared economic, societal, and environmental ends.

The attention to justice, social cohesion, and care for natural resources makes the fair-trade approach a model for life in general. In the Middle East—where deadly rocket fire and human despair is growing—the fair-trade practices employed by dedicated artisans speaks volumes and can do significant good.

At a recent gathering in Newport of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop Emeritus of New York, spoke bluntly and passionately about growing hostilities in the Holy Land and the resulting threats to its citizens and the holy places of Christianity. He urged his listeners to pray for peace in cities such as Bethlehem and Jerusalem and to support the families that call these cities home.

You and I can certainly do both. We can pray for peace and we can encourage the people living in the Holy Land by supporting the small businesses that are bundled together in the Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans. In doing so, we also support the well being of the holy sites of Christianity.

Providentially, on the day that Cardinal Egan spoke, I received that morning an email from one of the organizers of the Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans. In response to the increasing hostilities occurring around her, she wrote this:

“I want to provide a good future for my two daughters and I wish that all mothers in Palestine and Israel would have that same opportunity. ... Palestinians and Israelis live together in the same piece of land but increasing fear between us separates us and the hope of peace is becoming more distant. Please, do not let the fanatics win: Help us find a way to the path of peace for the sake of everyone in the region, today and for the future.”

For the purpose of this column on ecology, it is fitting to note the words of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, who wrote in his 2009 letter to the Church, Caritas in Veritate, these related words:

“[H]ow many natural resources are squandered by wars! Peace in and among peoples would also provide greater protection for nature. ... Peaceful agreement about the use of resources can protect nature and, at the same time, the well-being of the societies concerned.”

These shared sentiments—by a mother and a pontiff—should compel us to seek peace and order in the lands that Our Lord was born, lived, died, and was resurrected. One way to achieve these great ends is to explore the offerings of the Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans. In doing so, you and I can not only seek to give unique goods that are made in the Holy Land. We can also foster economic stability and peace in the places that the Prince of Peace called home.

For more information on the Bethlehem Fair Trade Artisans, visit Note that ordering, cost, and shipping information requires email confirmation due to the nature of working with local artisans and product availability. It is suggested that orders be pooled with others or be bulk quantities as payment is made through direct bank wiring. In time, the artisans are hopeful for an easier payment method.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

On Christ the King: A new Prince of the Church defends ecology

John Cardinal Onaiyekan 
On this Feast of Christ the King, the Church is also celebrating six new Princes of the Church. News of one of the new cardinals is especially important to Catholic ecologists because of his involvement over the past few years in the issue of climate change.

John Cardinal Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria has participated in United Nation conferences and other forums about the impacts of climate change on Africa as well as how global industrialization increases the demand on Africa for resources, and not always with good ends.

As chronicled in 2009 by John Allen Jr., with text from the Vatican Press Office, then Archbishop Onaiyekan was asked the following question during a meeting with journalists about the Synod for Africa: 
The post-discussion report mentioned that there’s a problem with multi-national mining companies in Africa, and talked about the idea of an international tribunal to hold these companies accountable. What is it exactly that you would like to see? 
Here’s his response: 
Of course, we are bishops, so we are very optimistic and we say nice things. Obviously, we will target our message to the ideal situation. We believe that there are certain things which just should not be done. The law of profit should have limits in terms of how you exploit natural resources. This is not only in terms of the economic conditions under which that’s done, how much you pay for the raw materials you’re taking out in relation to how much it’s actually worth – that’s an old story, and these are the old quarrels we’ve had – but also in terms of the environment. How much is anybody allowed to devastate the environment, simply because they want to extract resources, such as minerals, oil, and so on?
I will add two other considerations. 
The first has to do with simple justice. Some of these multi-nationals operate with double standards. I can’t see BP, Shell, or Mobil doing what they’re doing in the Niger Delta in the North Sea, or in Texas. They’re the same people, which means that things they wouldn’t tolerate at home they do quite freely in Africa. Maybe they think Africa is a no-man’s land where anything can happen. 
The second consideration, and it’s an item that has very much occupied and preoccupied the synod fathers, is the responsibility of our own leaders. Mobil, Shell, Agip … I have to make sure I mention different countries, so they won’t accuse me [of bias] … you can also add Elf. They all come, but they don’t just move in and start doing these things. In all the cases, there is some amount of so-called agreement with the local rulers, who claim to have negotiated on behalf of the people. Now, the synod has come out very strongly that our leaders ought to protect our environment. They ought to have their eyes wide open. If one is to be generous in judgment, you’d say perhaps [these leaders] are ignorant in judgment, but we’re not so sure they’re that stupid. We have very intelligent people, both in and outside of government, who ought to know to insist on a basic minimum.
A flare in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Photo: Flicker/Danny McL
That brings us back to the whole idea of an international code of conduct. It would be useless if it’s not going to be implemented, which has happened with many other codes that have been simply ignored. It seems that in the world of today, the more powerful you are, the more you can afford to ignore the rules which they quite happily impose on others. That’s the world we live in. 
We may add, to, that more and more now we are realizing that we are not only on one planet, but in one village where we live together as a human family. Destroying the environment in Nigeria affects the whole of our planet. Maybe the more that is recognized, the kind of international approach might become more feasible because it would be seen as enlightened self-interest to really put some rules into the way things are. Just like every city has rules as regards what to do with the trash they produce, for the sake of the immediate environment, if we begin to see the whole world as one environment we will be ready to put our heads together – knowing that what happens in one place affects the other places. 
I was in New York three weeks ago, with a team of lobbyists around the United Nations summit on climate change, and this matter came out very strongly. It became very clear that if we’re talking about the industrial growth of the rich countries, that is not only linked with the exploitation of raw materials from poor nations, but also with lots of consequences for the environment. How you produce, what you do to your factories here, is already having negative effects for places far, far away, such as islands. Some Pacific islands are disappearing, which have been there for centuries. At first, we did not see it in Africa. We used to think that floods and droughts are God’s work done to us, so we would go pray and sacrifice. Now we know that it’s not God’s cause, that people are responsible. 
Unfortunately, human beings are short-sighted, so they don’t look far enough. Maybe that’s where a group like ours, the bishops, together … and don’t forget, we’re not just Africans here. We have bishops from the U.S., from Europe, from Asia – we have a common mind on this matter. [We should] treat our planet well, and do all we can to make sure that every single individual in this family can live decently, so that all of us can live in peace. 
May Christ, our King, bless and protect our newest Cardinals, and may John Cardinal Onaiyekan in particular continue to be a voice seeking the protection of the ecology and the people of Africa and the whole world. 
Almighty, everlasting God,
Who in Thy beloved Son,
King of the whole world,
hast willed to restore all things anew;
grant in Thy Mercy that all the families of nations,
rent asunder by the wound of sin,
may be subjected to His most gentle rule.
Who with Thee lives and reigns, world without end.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Ultimate Thanksgiving

The word Eucharist means “to give thanks.” And so as we in the United States of America pause to celebrate the national holiday of Thanksgiving, Catholic ecologists can also reflect on and give thanks for how their vocation is informed by their Eucharistic faith.

We turn especially to Pope Benedict XVI’s Sacramentum Caritatis. As posted earlier, this “apostolic exhortation” explores a great many facets of the Catholic Eucharistic faith—including ecology.

This one passage strikes me as especially important on Thanksgiving 2012: 
The Eucharist itself powerfully illuminates human history and the whole cosmos. In this sacramental perspective we learn, day by day, that every ecclesial event is a kind of sign by which God makes himself known and challenges us. The eucharistic form of life can thus help foster a real change in the way we approach history and the world. The liturgy itself teaches us this, when, during the presentation of the gifts, the priest raises to God a prayer of blessing and petition over the bread and wine, "fruit of the earth," "fruit of the vine" and "work of human hands." With these words, the rite not only includes in our offering to God all human efforts and activity, but also leads us to see the world as God's creation, which brings forth everything we need for our sustenance. 
Quite briefly, this reminds Catholics—and anyone open to such ideas—that ultimately it will not be us, our governments’ mandates, or ongoing public service announcements that will change the human heart in the ways necessary to stem the swiftly advancing tide of ecological harm.

For instance, material consumption—which will spike here in America tomorrow on the culturally-sanctioned day of gluttony known as “BlackFriday”—cannot be appropriately addressed through legislation. Excessive consumption comes from an absence of the peace of Christ, of the Love that has no limit. Thus the cure is not civil mandates but the love of God—a love made present physically and intimately, which is what the Eucharist is. 

I am continually more convinced that our modern ills will find resolution only in Christ, His Cross, and the sacramental grace that He offers. This is why the presence of a section on ecology within a document like Sacramentum Caritatis is so wonderfully helpful.

And so on this Thanksgiving, I offer my great thanks to the Holy Father for his continued leadership and example in environmental protection and education. I give thanks also to the many bishops, clergy, lay leaders and so many other Catholics that strive to bring an orthodox sense of Catholic ecology to the public square, the classroom, and the pulpit.

And of course, the ultimate thanks goes to God, Who is Love and the Source of all that is.

May His grace continue to flow into human history—and may we humans accept this offer, most especially in the Eucharist, so that we can do our share, in gratitude, to renew the face of the earth.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Catholic Consultation: The Church probes climate change

Faith and reason shared the spotlight in Washington D.C. last week at a conference examining justice, ecology, and climate change—all through the lens of Catholic thought, most especially that of Pope Benedict XVI.

"A Catholic Consultation on Environmental Justice and Climate Change: Assessing Pope Benedict XVI’s Ecological Vision for the Catholic Church in the United States" brought together five bishops, a dozen academic presenters, renowned moderators, and a great many others seeking to unpack the words of Pope Benedict XVI in the context of emerging scientific understandings of a changing climate. [See a listing of conference presenters and talks at the close of this post.]

Dan Misleh, Executive Director of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, described the tone of the conference as grateful for the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI but also urgent.

This urgency was underscored by the event’s keynote address, the Most Rev. Bernard Unabali, Bishop of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. Bishop Unabali has assisted in the relocation of men, women, and children from the Carteret Islands, which have been loosing ground—literally—to rising seas. It is estimated that the islands will be entirely submerged by 2015. The fifty-mile relocation of the Carteret Islands' inhabitants to the larger island of Bougainville is an ongoing process and one in which the Church is actively engaged.

The Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of Venice, Florida, and representative of the Committee on International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, introduced and welcomed Bishop Unabali, who since the conference has visited New York and Boston to speak about matters back home—news that surely resonated with audiences of the post-Sandy East Coast.

The presence and contributions at the conference of so many clergy and successors of the Apostles added greatly to discussions about the present Successor of Peter, especially given his engagement of ecological ills and the moral realities that they present to the Church and all people of goodwill.

In noting the gratitude for the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI shared by conference presenters and guests, Misleh said that the Holy Father “has been a leader not only in speaking such wonderful words with dynamism, but also in practice—especially in working to make Vatican City carbon-neutral.”

Misleh added that “we recognized that [climate change] is something we must continue to understand—especially the causes and the consequences—and we need to consider what people of faith can do.” He noted that the conference’s academic papers “can’t just sit on a shelf” but must enter into the Church’s liturgical and pastoral life.

He’s right. Moreover, discussions on the impacts of climate change must also enter the public square.

In my professional work as an environmental regulator, the need for understanding and dialogue—for the sharing of information and support—about climate change is a growing reality. Planning the locations and technologies for water pollution control infrastructure, for instance, has already been impacted by real-world information on rising sea levels, increasing storm surge, and more intense rain events. All this translates into new sorts of decisions for state and local officials.  

There is also the matter of energy—how much we use and how we produce it. Again, here I think of my own experiences. My office has been fortunate to work with the local energy utility (National Grid) and the state’s largest wastewater treatment utility (the Narragansett Bay Commission) in a joint effort to reduce the energy used by statewide wastewater treatment infrastructure—all of which uses lots of electricity to move millions of gallons of water every day, not to mention great quantities of air that many facilities use to help microorganisms purify the wastewater. To reduce electricity usage generated by fossil fuels—and to save on their electric bill—the Narragansett Bay Commission has installed three wind turbines that will generate about forty-percent of one of its facility’s electricity. I’ll write more on this later—it deserves its own post—but for now it must be stressed that this story of industrial-sized renewable energy is just one example of how we can change the way we do business so that we don’t change too much of how the climate goes about its own.

Such real-world issues underscore the need for—and appreciation of—academic conferences like the one held last week by bishops and scholars. Both vocations have a teaching authority and both have a unique responsibility to do exactly what Pope Benedict XVI has been doing: calling attention to how human activity can flaunt, impact, and be impacted by the natural order.

“I was thrilled to be able to converse with the bishops who were truly open to listening and responding,” said conference participant Jame Schaefer, Ph.D., Ethics Director and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Marquette University. “We have a treasure chest of sources to retrieve and much work ahead as theologians to help the bishops, priests in our parishes, and catechetical organizers of youth and adult education programs when they want our input.”

Dr. Schaefer added that as she participated in the conference, she grew in appreciation that “the bishops [are] key messengers whose encouragement and affirmation we theologians need and want as we struggle to respond to human-forced climate change from the Catholic theological tradition. Yet we too are messengers of our research and reflections, catechists are messengers to Catholic youth and adults, and priests have the most expansive opportunities as messengers through their homilies. Thus, there is much for all to do, and we theologians need to help them when asked to the best of our abilities.”

Dr. Schaefer is correct that there is much work for all to do—and hopefully this conference is the first of many. 

Going forward, I will share as many specifics as possible about the presentations as they come my way. But for now, let us pray that God blesses all those who participated and organized this conference, and all those who will benefit from the good work done by the participating scholars and the bishops.  

The conference's sessions included:

Human and Natural Ecology/Human Life and Dignity. Presenters: Br. Keith Douglas Warner, OFM, Ph.D., Associate Adjunct Lecturer, Santa Clara University: “Bonaventure in Benedict: Franciscan Fingerprints on 'Human Ecology' in Papal Teaching.” Mary A. Ashley, Ph.D. Candidate, Graduate Theological Union: “If You Want Responsibility, Build Relationship: A Personalist Approach to Benedict XVI’s Environmental Vision.” Michael Baur, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Philosophy, Adjunct Professor of Law, and Director of the Natural Law Colloquium, Fordham University: “Natural Law and the Natural Environment: Pope Benedict XVI's Vision Beyond Utilitarianism and Deontology.” (Moderator: William D. Dinges, Ph.D., Ordinary Professor of Religious Studies, School of Theology and Religious Studies, The Catholic University of America.)

Solidarity, Justice, Poverty and the Common Good. Presenters: Scott Hefelfinger, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Notre Dame. “Human, Social, and Natural Ecology: Three Ecologies, One Cosmology, and the Common Good.” Christiana Z. Peppard, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theology & Science, Fordham University: “Commodifying Creation? Benedict XVI's Vision of the Goods of Creation Intended for All.” Matthew P. Whelan, Ph.D. Candidate, Duke University: “The Grammar of Creation: Agriculture in the Thought of Pope Benedict XVI.” (Moderator: Tobias Winright, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theological Ethics, St. Louis University.)

Sacramentality of Creation. Presenters: Elizabeth Groppe, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology, Xavier University: “The Way of Wisdom.” Rev. Msgr. Kevin W. Irwin, M.Div., S.T.D., Ordinary Professor of Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology, The Catholic University of America: “The World as God’s Icon: Creation, Sacramentality, Liturgy.” Jeremiah Vallery, Ph.D. Candidate, Duquesne University: “Cosmic Liturgy: Assessing Pope Benedict XVI’s Ecological Vision for the Catholic Church in the United States.” (Moderator: Jame Schaefer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology, Marquette University.)

Our Catholic Faith in Action. Presenters: Fr. John T. Brinkman, M.M., Ph.D., Historian of Religions: “Discernment of the Church and the Dynamics of the Climate Change Conferences.” David Cloutier, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology, Mount St. Mary’s University: “American Lifestyles and Structures of Sin: The Practical Implications of Pope Benedict XVI’s Ecological Vision for the American Church.” Anselma T. Dolcich-Ashley, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow, University of Notre Dame: “American Nature Writing As a Critically-Appropriated Resource for Catholic Ecological Ethics.” (Moderator: Fr. John Haughey, S.J., Ph.D., Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University.)

A wrap-up session, moderated by Br. Keith Douglas Warner, OFM, Ph.D., Associate Adjunct Lecturer, Santa Clara University, included presentations by Dr. Schaefer and Dr. Winright.

Mass was celebrated on Friday evening by the Most Rev. William S. Skylstad, Bishop Emeritus of Spokane and Honorary Chairman, Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. Past President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Most Rev. Donald J. Kettler, Bishop of Fairbanks, Alaska, was the homilist.

Friday, November 9, 2012

US Bishops, scholars explore B16's ecological vision

Kudos to the bishops of the United States.

They’ve just sponsored a two-day symposium in Washington D.C. on the Holy Father’s ecological thoughts. It was a much needed gathering to exchange insights on an under-appreciated but vital topic.

The symposium, “A Catholic Consultation on Environmental Justice and Climate Change: Assessing Pope Benedict XVI's Ecological Vision for the Catholic Church in the United States" was also sponsored by the Catholic University of America’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies and the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change.

Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of the United State’sConference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and HumanDevelopment says that "we have seen the destructive impact of climate change and environmental degradation both around the world and at home. These impacts often multiply the hardship experienced by the most vulnerable people in the world. Pope Benedict has consistently drawn attention to these issues and urges all to take moral responsibility to reduce our environmental impact and our carbon footprint. This symposium is an important step in guiding our Catholic response to these challenges."

Bishop Bernard Unabali from Papau New Guinea will deliver the symposium's opening address on Thursday evening. Bishop Unabali assisted with the relocation of many residents of the Carteret Islands to his diocese. These residents, among the world's first "climate refugees," were forced to abandon their islands due to the impacts of climate change.

Scholars presenting on the moral and theological dimensions of ecology and climate change will come from the following colleges and universities: CUA, Fordham, St. Louis, Graduate Theological Union, Notre Dame, Duke, Marquette, Xavier, Duquesne, Santa Clara, Mount St. Mary's and Georgetown.

With an eye towards the New Evangelization, Dan Misleh, Executive Director of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change hopes that the ideas presented by those present will be shared with a greater audience so that more people will appreciate the words of Pope Benedict XVI and the place of Catholic thought and spirituality in matters of ecology.

The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change is a consortium of national Catholic organizations including the USCCB, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, the National Catholic Education Association, the Franciscan Action Network, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, among others.

Other bishops in attendance will include Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California; Bishop Donald Kettler of Fairbanks, Alaska; Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida; Bishop John Ricard, retired bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida; and Bishop William Skylstad, retired bishop of Spokane, Washington.

Stay tuned for more information on the conference presentations as it becomes available.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Photo: South-facing shores of Rhode Island after Sandy. With permission of RI DOT
We have described Sandy in many ways. She was a tropical storm; a hurricane; a monster storm; a super storm; a Frankenstorm; and a killer. She was also unique.

Four days before the storm made landfall, meteorologists seemed to have run out of adjectives and words of warning to describe what was happening and what was about to come. After Sandy punched her way into and across the mid Atlantic—then spending days pin-wheeling in a thousand-mile rotation of cloud and rain—folks on the Weather Channel could only repeat the same inadequate words to describe the unspeakable.

As I write, the news form New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Tennessee, and corners of my home state of Rhode Island continues to provide hurricane-force winds of grief. Here at home, I and many Rhode Islanders were spared the worst, but some 20,000 in the Ocean State are still without power and many have lost homes. Elsewhere in the Northeast and around New Jersey’s ground zero, the amount of loss and human suffering is suffocating.

The question being bandied about now, of course—as it was even before the storm made landfall—is if Sandy is a symptom of things to come. Is this the new normal? Was Sandy made bigger, odder, and more powerful because of more moisture and heat in an altered atmosphere?

I’ve noted before that weather is not climate, so to say that Sandy was caused by climate change isn’t appropriate. But then, storms like Sandy do fit a profile of weather in an age of climate change—and, if so, the impact on human beings is something that Catholic ecologists, and all those of good will, cannot ignore.

And so a few thoughts:

From a visceral vantage—and as foolish as this will sound—as I watched images of a flooded New York City, I could not help but think of the motion picture The Day After Tomorrow. That 2004 movie was certainly more amusement than science. But something of the tone of the movie affected me in similar ways as when I witnessed the reality of this past week. Perhaps I am attracted too much to blockbuster dramatics, but The Day After Tomorrow (and here, the trailer) engenders a few similar, primordial feelings as did the real world in the wake of Sandy.

My more rational side was startled by how the flood maps of post-Sandy Manhattan looked much like surge-projection maps of Rhode Island shores, which were produced for an in-house training on sea-level rise and climate change.

That all said, voices have already been heard telling us that man must retreat from the shores. I will not say they do not have a point. In places in Rhode Island, what was property last week is now a beach, which begs the question, how do communities allow a family to build in what is now the mean high-tide level? Still, telling people to adhere to new coastal realities is easier said than done—especially when real people with real attachments to their homes, neighborhoods, and livelihoods haven’t quite absorbed the losses they’ve just been dealt. Perhaps the environmental prophets among us might wait a bit and use the time to find charitable ways of saying what others might be processing but are not willing to admit: Sandy will have sisters and brothers.

To have such a storm hit the week before a much-debated presidential election has many wondering about Sandy’s impacts to the political landscape. All I wish to repeat is that the Republicans will be hurt—and are being hurt—by their anti-ecological platform. While I will be voting for Mitt Romney because of the foundational issue of human life, his stance on climate change and environmental regulations could certainly cost him a few electoral votes—especially from battleground states like Ohio that have many voters angry over the effects of fracking.

The most important thing to say now—especially on this Feast of All Saints—is that we must pray for and give to those in need. Per St. Paul, debates about climate change and Frankenstorms can amount to nothing but the noise of resounding gongs and clashing symbols if we do not have love.

In the days and years to come, Catholics who teach ecological truths would do well to reflect on and keep close the words that St. Paul wrote to the seaport city of Corinth. His words—rooted in the truth of the Risen Christ—are crucial if we are to create a climate of truth, faith, hope, and an authentic love of neighbor:
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Of these words, I think these especially must be the motto of Catholic ecologists, especially when faced with growing, deadly empirical evidence of climate change: love does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.

May we, too, rejoice not in the sufferings of others because it proves our theories, but in the truth that will help us all understand and adapt to what is changing around us. Indeed, we must rejoice in seeking truth together about new ways to build our communities, to work, and to consume so that, in protecting the globe, those not yet born may not have to struggle to describe increasingly hostile weather.