Three Central Priorities regarding Global Climate Change
"The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops seeks to offer a constructive contribution to this timely and important national debate. We participate not as climate experts or as scientists, but rather as pastors and teachers who fear that the moral and human dimensions of these decisions will be overwhelmed by political, economic or ideological pressures. We ask you to take steps to address three major themes drawn from Catholic Social Teaching and our pastoral experience:
A Priority for the Poor: ...Poor families and children, vulnerable workers, and farmers will likely be most impacted by climate change and bear the greatest burdens as we address its causes and consequences. The poor have the fewest resources and capacity to escape the costs of climate change.
The Pursuit of the Common Good: ...The challenge of global climate change is a pre-eminent example of how our debate and decisions should reflect the pursuit of the common good, rather than the search for economic, political or other narrow advantage.
The Practice of Prudence: The traditional virtue of prudence suggests that we do not have to know with absolute certainty everything that is happening with climate change to know that something seriously harmful is occurring. Therefore, it is better to act now than wait until the problem gets worse and the remedies more costly."
U.S. Bishops’ international Policy Committee, Letter to Congressional Leaders, 2/07
RESOURCE LINKS ON CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING & THE ENVIRONMENT
Link to the USCCB Environmental Justice Program
Link to USCCB Resources on Catholic Social Teaching
Link to the National Catholic Rural Life Conference Resources on the Environment and Care for the Land
Responsible Stewardship of God's Creation and the Common God: Reflection by Tony Stieritz, Director Catholic Social Action, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 9/2012
Ten Commandments for the Environment, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace