Global warming provokes reaction in Catholic Church

By Mallory Terrence
April 10, 2008

Megan Pellegrino

Scientists strongly believe global warming is real and is happening faster than anyone had predicted. Even though scientists guarantee that the planet is experiencing signs of global warming, some religious communities are not certain and do not back these accounts.

The science community is now racing to find a way to slow down the process, but no solution will work without the compliance of the American government and people.

“We [The United States] are not moving in the right direction. U.S. policies as a whole are only making the problem worse. We as a country are not willing to make the sacrifices and big changes we need to slow the problem. We want our stuff and just think it is other people’s responsibility to solve the problem,” Dr. Anne Coleman, assistant professor of life and physical science, said.

According to an article by National Geographic News, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has linked human activity to the Earth’s warming temperatures, rising seas, more intense storms and the reason for many other environmental problems.

The Catholic Church is the largest denomination in the United States, and they have recognized global warming is a serious problem and have concerns for the environment. The Catholic community has spoken out about the important issue and urged followers to practice a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Since 1993 the Untied States Catholic Conference has had an environmental justice program, which encourages all to do something locally to help protect the environment.

“When we talk about Catholic Social Teaching we’re not just talking about respecting individuals, but about respecting where we live,” Father Michael Bielecki, resident chaplain, said.

Pope Benedict XVI during Mass in late 2007, urged young Catholics to take the lead in caring for the earth and its precious resources. Inviting all to join in praying and working for a greater respect for the wonders of God’s creations.

Dr. Coleman suggested that by carpooling, using less electricity and water, recycling and voting the youth of the country has a great opportunity to help save the planet. Both Dr. David Dunbar, associate professor of biology and Dr. Melissa Terlecki, assistant professor of psychology stressed the importance of converting to an environmentally friendly car, but they feel the price may hold many college students back.

Cabrini College, a Catholic college, also recognizes the phenomenon of global warming, doing its part to help change the direction in which our society lives in. As one of the many sponsors of Crabby Creek Earth Day, which is held April 15 at Conestoga High School, the college is helping to address the need to conserve the environment in our own backyard.

Crabby Creek is a stream that runs through the region and is often affected by storms and home development. Students from Cabrini work in collecting data from the stream and studying the surrounding areas.

“If we don’t take care of the world around us, then it will not be here for us to take care of,” Bielecki, said.

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Mallory Terrence

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