I acknowledge and thank the Lkwungen People for allowing me to live, pray, work, and play on their lands. I am deeply sorry for the injustices inflicted upon the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Turtle Island by the complicity of settlers and the Catholic Church in the colonialism inherent in the Indian Act and Residential Schools including racism, neglect, many forms of abuse & cultural genocide. I commit to work for truth, healing and reconciliation.
Laudato Si’, 244
Give us hearts to listen for the good news of your promise
to renew the face of the Earth.
Enlighten us with the grace to follow the Way of Christ
as we learn to walk lightly upon this holy ground.
Fill us with the hope to quench the fires of injustice
with the light of your healing love
that sustains our common home.
In the name of the One who came
to proclaim good news to all creation, Jesus Christ,
2. THE SEASON OF CREATION 2022 MAKES ME ASK
WHERE IS MY LOCAL LAUDATO SI’ ACTION PLAN?
Does your diocese or parish have a LS Action Plan? Mine do not. I, a LS Animator, am hoping that I can help to bring one about.
In supporting the LS Animators Program 1.5 hours once each week 24 Aug- 12 Oct 2022, Victoria, BC Bishop Gary Gordon said: “It would be a wonderful gift to our Diocese if every parish and school could have one or more people participating. He describes the program as “a marvelous way for leaders and interested individuals to grow in our faith, which fundamentally includes integral human development and care for God’s earth.” ” In fact I, Andrew, would say that the environment, especially when viewed as creation, is a basic core life issue. We need to see the moral implications of LS and how they are vital to a fully pro-life vision in the church.
The Laudato Si' Action Platform is in nine languages for Catholic institutions, communities and families as well as “all people of goodwill” to put into action the integral ecological vision of LS. It is sponsored by the Vatican and developed in partnership with many Catholic people and institutions. The platform includes a self-assessment, planning guides to help build an action plan, as well as space to share reflections and actions.
But such Canadian action plans are not easy to find. I looked on google under Canadian LS Action Plans and found none. Plans exist under different names but not named LS Action Plans! Here is a short one from Ottawa-Cornwall: https://en.archoc.ca/care-for-gods-creation. Three longer & more comprehensive US plans can be found here.
What are some topics that have been included and could serve as examples to those of us who advocate for our own diocese and parish to draft a LS Action Plan?
Here is a suggested Goal: "Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather... to discover what each of us can do about it." (LS, 19) The members of the Catholic community of the Diocese of XXX want to plan and act in Eco Social Justice Creation Care Ministry in our parishes to implement the teachings and goals of Pope Francis in his encyclical LS. We also wish to join the forces of our parishes and schools to assist the Laudato Si’ Movement and Mouvement Laudato Si’ Movement, the Government of Canada, Province of XXX and City of XXX with a target of 100% renewable energy and 50% reduction of greenhouse gases by 2035. And to assist them in reaching their greenhouse gas or carbon reduction targets. These are among the most important local implementations of LS and the Seven Goals of the LS Action Platform.
A LS Action Plan could:
1. Include a summary of CST and LS.
2. Celebrate liturgies with homilies and Prayers of the faithful that frequently reflect LS themes especially for Earth Day, D&P Share Lent & Fall Campaign, LS Week and Season of Creation.
3. Include and formally incorporate CST especially LS in all catechist training.
4. Establish Eco Social Justice/Creation Care Committees to conduct workshops on LS and CST.
5. Bulletins and mass announcements to publicise (Canadian) Mouvement LS Movement and (international) LS Movement’s courses and website. Same for Green Churches Network.
6. All churches should install solar panels and consider small wind turbines as well as plug-in stations for recharging electric vehicles.
7. Grass lawns should be wilded for bees and other animals.
8. Lawns could be replaced to grow crops and fruit trees for food banks.
9. Lower fossil fuel emissions and divest from fossil fuels. (Pope Francis, 19 June 2020)
10. Promote a diet with less meat and more organic fair trade food.
11. Do not use plastic plates/bowls & cutlery. Use only compostable/recyclable items.
12. Advocate, advocate, advocate!
Space precludes more.
3. A NEW CANADIAN BRANCH OF A VATICAN ORGANISATION
whose virtual launch is on 17 Sept (to participate click on cappcanada link below):
What is the Practical Purpose of Catholic Social Teaching?
TO ACHIEVE THE COMMON GOOD
The common good is the sum total of social conditions which allow people to reach their fulfillment.
It is the result of applying the three principles [of CST] to governments and economic systems.
[Woops! Methinks they left out the church itself. Surprise, surprise!]
4. SPEAKING BOLDLY
Following is one way that needs to be taken seriously by the church:
Put our money where our mouth is!
We believe that churches need to divest from fossil fuel companies and invest in climate solutions if they are to retain their integrity in the face of the climate crisis.
See what is being done in other parts of the world: Check here.
Fr Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, Coordinator of the Ecology Sector in the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development, which assists Pope Francis’ work on the environment, said: ‘In 2020, the Vatican called on Catholic institutions to divest from fossil fuel companies given their harm to the environment. I applaud these prophetic institutions divesting today and encourage every institution in the world to reduce our dependence on such harmful energy sources by divesting from fossil fuels. This is how prophetic institutions can live out our values and help the most vulnerable among us. If we want to achieve peace, and ensure a liveable planet for all, including the future generations, we need to end our dependence on fossil fuels that fuel the current climate crisis.’
[As reported here : Nolan said the Scottish bishops decided to join the multitrillion-dollar worldwide divestment movement because "speaking out is not enough, action is required." Although some people argue that fossil fuel companies are necessary in the transition to renewable energy, he said, the act of divesting sends a signal "that the status quo is not acceptable." and here: “Given the harm that the production and consumption of fossil fuels is causing to the environment and to populations in low income countries, it was not right to profit from investment in these companies.”]
Included were two Catholic dioceses (the Irish Archdiocese of Armagh and the English Diocese of Leeds); & 11 Catholic religious orders;
The Archbishop of Glasgow, Monsignor William Nolan, said that in the near future "it will be a disgrace to any Catholic institution that has not divested." If "where your treasure is, there will your heart be" (Mt 6:21), ask yourself: where is your heart today? 🤍
“Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it” (LS 23).
The Financial Times : Corinne Le Quéré: ‘Could we just adapt to climate change? The answer is no.’ The Canadian-born climate scientist stays cool as politicians fail to act, saying we have the solutions we need — we just have to use them.
The Guardian : “António Guterres [UN Secretary General] told ministers from 40 countries meeting to discuss the climate crisis on Monday [18 July 2022]: “Half of humanity is in the danger zone, from floods, droughts, extreme storms and wildfires. No nation is immune. Yet we continue to feed our fossil fuel addiction. We have a choice. Collective action or collective suicide. It is in our hands.”
5. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW AND CAN DO
Big banks like RBC are getting away with investing billions into the climate-killing fossil fuel industry, bankrolling massive projects like Coastal GasLink and TMX. [1-3] So far, they’ve faced no consequences from banking regulators — but we have a rare opportunity to change that.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Right now the banks regulator — the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OFSI) — is considering tightening up the rules on whether banks should be allowed to invest in the dirty oil and gas industry. And they want to hear from the public (that’s us!) about what they should do. 
Bank regulators like OSFI might not be well known to the average person, but they play a big role in shaping the banking industry. If thousands of us flood their consultation, it would help push them to create real and stringent regulations to force banks to divest from fossil fuels. Will you submit a message to OSFI's public consultation now?
Organic, pasture-fed beef and lamb! 28% of the world’s land is used for grazing.
Analysis: You may be amazed by that answer, but the area of land used for grazing is vast compared with the meat and milk produced.
Perhaps the most important of all environmental issues is land use. Every hectare of land we use for extractive industries is a hectare that can’t support crucial ecosystems. Farming swallows far more land than any other human activity. Arable crops, some of which are fed to farm animals, occupy 12% of the planet’s land surface. But far more land (28%) is used for grazing: in other words, for pasture-fed meat and milk. Yet, across this vast area, farm animals that are entirely pasture-fed produce just 1% of the world’s protein.
Agricultural sprawl inflicts a very high ecological opportunity cost: the missing ecosystems that would otherwise exist. This is matched by the carbon opportunity cost of pasture-fed beef and lamb.
Meat production has two kinds of global heating impact: its climate current account, which means the gases released by farming animals; and its climate capital account, which means the carbon dioxide the land could absorb if it were rewilded.
The livestock industry has fought back with a massive public relations campaign, seeking to persuade people that pasture-fed meat helps reduce global heating by storing carbon in the soil. Yet, despite the many claims, there is no empirical evidence that carbon storage in pastures can even compensate for grazing’s current account emissions, let alone address the capital debt. Just as the oil industry tried to convince us that CO2 was good for the planet on the grounds that it’s “plant food”, the ranching industry has sought to sow doubt and confusion about its vast environmental impacts.
We live in a bubble of delusion about where our food comes from and how it is produced. We’ve been dealing in stories when we should be dealing in numbers. Our gastroporn aesthetics, embedded in bucolic fantasy, are among the greatest threats to life on Earth.
George Monbiot’s book Regenesis: Feeding the World Without Devouring the Planet, is published by Penguin. (See our September edition of the Common Good newsletter)
7. GREENHOUSE EFFECT
Who discovered the greenhouse effect?
A few years later, in 1861, the well-known Irish scientist John Tyndall also measured the heat absorption of carbon dioxide and also recognized the possible effects on the climate, saying “every variation” of water vapour or carbon dioxide “must produce a change of climate.” He also noted the contribution other hydrocarbon gases, such as methane, could make to climate change, writing that “an almost inappreciable addition” of gases like methane would have “great effects on climate.”
The first person to use the term “greenhouse gases” was a Swedish scientist named Svante Arrhenius in 1896. In a paper published that year, he made an early calculation of how much warmer the Earth was thanks to the energy-trapping nature of some of the gases in the atmosphere. Even at this early stage, he understood that humans had the potential to play a significant role in changing the concentration of at least one of those gases, carbon dioxide (carbonic acid back then):
The world’s present production of coal reaches in round numbers 500 millions of tons per annum, or 1 ton per km of earth’s surface. Transformed into carbonic acid, this quantity would correspond to about a thousandth part of the carbonic acid in the atmosphere.
Though he didn’t explicitly say in that paper that human activity could warm the planet, Arrhenius would go on to make that argument in later works. A 2008 tribute to Arrhenius published by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences stated that his ideas about coal and climate were popular and well known in his day but fell out of favour for a while after his death in 1927.
While Arrhenius’ prediction [of warming] received great public interest, this typically waned in time but was revived as an important global mechanism by the great atmospheric physicist Carl Gustaf Rossby who initiated atmospheric CO2 measurements in Sweden in the 1950s.
And 110 years ago, climate change was in the news. Are we finally ready to listen?
The Keeling Curve is a graph of the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere based on continuous measurements taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory on the island of Hawaii from 1958 to the present day. The curve is named for the scientist Charles David Keeling, who started the monitoring program and supervised it until his death in 2005. It has gone from about 315 ppm in 1958 to 420 ppm at present (2022). Countless scientists, climate experts, and governments officials agree that 350 ppm is the “safe” level of carbon dioxide.
No less than the United Nations secretary-general agrees with that analysis. “We are seeing excessive scandalous profits of the oil and gas industry in a moment in which all of us are losing money,” António Guterres said during an August press conference. “I urge people everywhere to send a clear message to the fossil fuel industry and their financiers that this grotesque greed is punishing the poorest and most vulnerable people, while destroying our only common home, the planet.”
Source: Ignatiansolidarity.net [Andrew’s not quite literal translation: God, give us courage to not label as prudence that which is cowardice, conformism and comfort.]
Father Lluis Espinal i Camps, SJ (to give him his Catalan name) and "Lucho" (his nickname) (1932-1980) murdered in Bolivia for defending human rights and criticising corruption & injustice (just two days before St Oscar Romero, the Salvadoran archbishop, was shot dead).
11. POPE’S VISIT
The Holy Father’s sincerity and authenticity are beyond question. The reaction varied from great happiness and acceptance through wishing for a bit more to indifference and hostility. All to be expected given the circumstances. I have to say that I believe the Holy Father was not as well briefed as he could have been. I am sure the Canadian bishops mentioned topics to be briefed which do not seem to have been passed on at a higher level. Examples: (1) he could/should have mentioned sexual abuse right away (not just physical abuse) rather than wait til later in Quebec (2) to say during his return flight that he had not thought of using the word genocide beggars belief & (3) he was not sure what the Doctrine Discovery/ Terra Nullius fuss was about! Incidentally, the CCCB refuted both in a statement dated 19 March 2016 here: Statement. Here is an excerpt: “We reject the assertion that the principle of the first taker or discoverer, often described today by the terms Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius, could be applied to lands already inhabited by Indigenous Peoples”.
Having said that, the Holy Father listened, he came, he apologised and for that we are most grateful! Now the real work of reconciliation by Canadians must continue.
Sarain Fox, who is an artist and activist from the Batchewana First Nation, was one of the people who took part in a brief silent protest before mass. She felt it was important to urge Pope Francis to rescind the Doctrine of Discovery. (Jennifer Yoon/CBC)
LET THERE BE NO DOUBT!
SOUNDS POLITICAL TO ME!
IN SPITE OF SOME MIXED MESSAGES, I THANK GOD FOR THAT
AND MAY GOD BLESS THE HOLY FATHER
AND BRING JUSTICE TO UKRAINE!
THE QUEEN IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE KING!
For me this is personal. I was born a British Subject and as a 12 year old was in the cheering crowd as Her Majesty passed by Hyde Park in her Coronation procession.
I pledged my allegiance to Her Majesty and her heirs & successors three times;
twice as a soldier, British and Canadian, then as a Canadian citizen.
I was rewarded with four medals including both the Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals (Golden for military and Diamond for civilian service) and
I thank God for the opportunity to serve my Queen and Country.
as long as I am able, as Elizabeth did and Pope Francis is.
Peace & joy, Andrew, ofs