e-mail us

Cover story

Pastoral builds on past documents


Following are some previous statements by U.S. and Canadian bishops and Pope John Paul II that deal with environmental concerns:

Appalachian bishops, 1975: “This Land is Home to Me” deals with issues of poverty in Appalachia and states that the loving God is the God of the poor.

Bishops of the Heartland, 1980: “Strangers and Guests” says that our relationship to the land will affect its continued ability to provide for us.

U.S. Catholic bishops, 1991: “Renewing the Earth” describes the fundamental relation between humanity and nature as one of caring for creation.

Canadian Catholic bishops, 1992: “A Time for Reconciling and Recommitting Ourselves” acknowledges that faith came to Canada many centuries ago “in the prayers, chants, dance and other sacred celebrations of native people.”

Bishops of Alberta, Canada, 1998: “Statement on the Care of God’s Creation” declares, “We can learn much from the spiritual tradition of our aboriginal brothers and sisters who celebrate our kinship with the rest of creation and seek to strengthen the sacred circle of all creation.”

Pope John Paul II, visit to Canada, 1984: Preserving the environment should take priority over uncontrolled industrial expansion.

Pope John Paul II, 1990: “The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility” declares, “Our very contact with nature has a deep restorative power; contemplation of its magnificence imparts peace and serenity. ... The ecological crisis is a moral issue.”

National Catholic Reporter, June 4, 1999