Frequently Asked Questions
How does this relate to Catholic social teaching?
Catholic social teaching strongly encourages us to care for our most vulnerable sisters and brothers. Sadly, it is these people who are most affected by the environmental crisis, although they have done the least to cause it.
Catholic leaders, including popes, have spoken about the specific need to address climate change. Papal teaching started with Pope John Paul II, continued through Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and has reached a fuller expression with Pope Francis. See a longer overview of Catholic teaching and ecology here.
Why do diocesan creation care offices matter?
Dioceses are leaders in the community. Their decisions send a strong signal about the community’s values and priorities. In addition, dioceses provide important practical support that empowers action in parishes and among individuals.
Will our encouragement make a difference?
Yes! Dioceses, like the Church as a whole, are here to guide and support the faithful. They want to know about our concerns. Sending letters, making sure the letters are specific and numerous, and following up with a visit or phone call are very important.
In addition, the diocese will be supported by the Vatican in establishing an office devoted to creation care. The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development is offering a webinar on diocese’s important work on creation.
What if our diocese already has an office devoted to creation care?
First, get in touch with the staff in the office and thank them for their good work. The diocese’s commitment to fulfilling Catholic teaching in this area is wonderful and should be celebrated.
Second, determine what the office has planned and how your parish can support it. During your Earth Day activity, write postcards asking the office to make a plan to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and offer your specific support to reach that goal.