The St. Francis Pledge and Climate Change
Cardinal Roger Mahony has launched an environmental sustainability effort, timed to the Feast of St. Francis on Oct. 4, in which he has asked parishioners to take the `St. Francis Pledge‘ to help limit climate change. The Tidings, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, said that a new creation sustainability ministry means there will be more focus in homilies on the Catholic commitment to a clean environment.
The St. Francis Pledge is the work of the Catholic Climate Covenant, which puts particular emphasis on the impact of climate change on the poor. Those who take the St. Francis Pledge agree to learn about and teach others about the causes and moral dimensions of climate change; to assess how they themselves contribute to climate change; and to advocate for Catholic principles concerning climate change. According to CatholicCulture.org, the group is partnered with the U.S. Catholic bishops and situates its mission within the framework of the church’s overall pro-life position. (I wonder if the organization CatholicVote.org would have considered this when it endorsed Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada, because of her “defense of life.” Angle calls global warming “a mantra of the left.”)
The St. Francis Pledge comes none too soon because the movement to minimize or deny climate change is picking up a head of steam due to the influence of the Tea Party movement in the current congressional elections. As The New York Times reported recently, the Republican candidate for Senate in California, Carly Fiorina, called for people to “have the courage to examine the science of climate change.” Ron Johnson, running in Wisconsin, blamed global warming on sun spots. I think, also, that quite a few of the Republicans who will be newly elected in the House this fall will follow the line their Tea Party supporters take.