Posts tagged with: environment

creation of adam smallWhile the 2015 papal visit to the United States has wrapped up, the Acton Institute continues to add fresh content to our webpage dedicated to the pope, the environment, the global economy and other issues of note.

Currently, the page features a Fox News video with Acton co-founder Rev. Robert Sirico, discussing the pope’s first U.S. trip, and his speeches and remarks during that visit. In addition, the page highlights Acton expert news analysis, including recent remarks by Samuel Gregg, Acton’s director of research, in the National Catholic Register, and Rev. Sirico’s commentary during the papal visit to the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

Further, the webpage includes an “Environmental Stewardship In-depth” section. This section currently contains more than three dozen scholarly resources, including material from Jewish, Catholic and Orthodox scholars and a section-by-section guide to the papal encyclical, Laudato Si’.

As we continue to cover these issues, this webpage will be updated; we hope it will be a rich resource of reasoned thought and informative material.


Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico had the privilege of attending the special joint session of Congress today as the guest of Michigan Representative Bill Huizenga; after Pope Francis’ address, he was asked for his take by Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Channel; the video is available below. And of course, be sure to monitor our special page covering Laudeto Si’, the pope’s visit to the United States, and the news and perspectives surrounding his pontificate for all the latest developments.

Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico was interviewed recently for a story on WHYY FM in Philadelphia discussing the Pope’s upcoming trip to the city, and focusing on the impact of his encyclical Laudato Si’ within the Catholic Church. Sirico points out that while the Pope is correct to urge Christians to be responsible stewards of God’s creation, the inclusion of specific policy proposals on climate may prove to be unwise in the long run.

You can listen to the full interview via the audio player below.

pope in crowdIn today’s Roll Call, Acton Institute president Rev. Robert Sirico comments on Pope Francis’ September visit to the U.S. and what may be part of the dialogue when the pope is here. While the media tabulates the pontiff’s popularity on certain topics, Sirico says there are more important things to note.

Popularity ratings may be important for politicians but not for a pope believed to be the successor to St. Peter and the Vicar of Christ on earth.

His job is to preserve the truths of the Faith, not put them up for a vote.

The Church is not a democracy, whereby some polling data could alter the content of the Church’s doctrine the way McDonald’s might alter the ingredients in a Big Mac.


Pope Francis has started an important global discussion on the environment with the release of his encyclical Laudeto Si’, which the Acton Institute has been engaging in with vigor since it’s release, and has been ably covered as well here on the PowerBlog by the likes of Bruce Edward Walker and Joe Carter. But this isn’t the first time that Acton has waded into the debate over protecting the environment; Acton Founder Rev. Robert A. Sirico was debating Matthew Fox, proponent of deep ecology and a so-called “creation spirituality” back in 2000, and we’ve talked extensively about environmental stewardship as part of our Effective Stewardship curriculum and other publications as well.

Another recent example of Acton’s engagement with issues of environmental protection came as part of the 2014 Acton Lecture Series, as The Very Reverend Michael Butler and Andrew Morriss, Dean of the Texas A&M Law School, collaborated on a presentation at the Mark Murray Auditorium in the wake of the release of their monograph, titled Creation and the Heart of Man: An Orthodox Christian Perspective on Environmentalism. As the debate over Laudeto Si’ continues, we’re pleased to present this valuable contribution from the Orthodox Christian perspective.

Back in June, Fr. Michael Butler responded to Laudeto Si’ at Acton University. After the jump, you can hear his thoughts upon the release of the encyclical. (more…)

Blog author: bwalker
Monday, August 17, 2015

Is Poland’s new hyper-Catholic government on a collision course with the pope?
John L. Allen, Jr., Crux

In his recent encyclical letter Laudato Si’, Francis called for strong limits on the consumption of fossil fuels. Yet Law and Justice has vowed to toughen Poland’s stance on climate issues to protect its economy, which relies on coal for about 90 percent of its electricity. A party official in charge of energy policy recently said, “The strategy we’re planning rejects the dogma of de-carbonization.”

United Church of Canada Sells Fossil Fuel Holdings, Commits $6 Million to Alternative Energy to Save Creation
Vincent Funaro, The Christian Post

The Episcopal Church’s position echoes that of Francis who released an encyclical dealing with climate change back June. It dealt with how climate change is affecting God’s creation and was supported by over 300 Evangelical leaders.

Obama Clean Power Plan praised
Insight News

“Cities alone cannot meet the climate challenge. Action at the national scale is necessary,” said Ed Murray, mayor of Seattle. “As Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical on climate change, ‘the climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.’ I am pleased that this administration, through this action, is taking these words to heart.”

Combating climate change can co-exist with oil, gas industry
Mella McEwan, Midland Reporter-Telegram

“The ‘shale renaissance’ has occurred in spite of actions of this administration,” said Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. “This is evidenced by the fact that oil and gas production has risen dramatically on private lands during the last seven years. Meanwhile, production from federal lands has decreased during the same time period.”


Blog author: bwalker
Friday, August 14, 2015

Pope Francis and the Republican Presidential Hopefuls: A Widening Divide
Stephen Seufert, The Huffington Post

During the first Republican presidential debate, candidates repeatedly mentioned the path towards economic growth is through tax cuts, deregulation, and smaller government. With regards to tax cuts bringing on economic growth to the middle class and poor — commonly called trickle down economics — Pope Francis has unequivocally rejected such a theory.

Our Sunday Visitor Promotes Laudato Si’
Mark Silk, Religion News Service

On the other hand, the pope will have more American Catholics paying attention to him than God when he shows up in New York, Washington, and Philadelphia next month. To say nothing of everyone else in the country. And you can be sure he’ll be pitching Laudato Si’.

In Response: Cherry-picking data won’t make climate change go away
David Gerhart, Duluth News Tribune

A lengthy commentary critical of Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change was published in the News Tribune on Aug. 8 as half of a “Pro/Con” feature (“Should we heed the pope’s warning about climate change? No: It misreads science and will doom billions to poverty”).


Blog author: bwalker
Thursday, August 13, 2015

US Ambassador to the Holy See Talks about Pope Francis’ Visit to the United States
Gerard O’Connell, Vatican Insider

Q: Francis is the first pope ever to address Congress. How do you read this? A: I think it’s terrific. Speaker Boehner is a Catholic and he said I’m going to invite him. And Francis, a pope of surprises, said I’m going to do it!

How Can Engineers Heed Pope Francis’ Challenge on Climate Change?
Engineering Deans of Catholic Colleges and Universities, U.S. News & World Report

In a time of great unrest, uncertainty and disagreement over the reality of climate change, the encyclical forces all peoples and institutions, particularly Catholic ones, to examine if they are doing enough to address one of the gravest issues of our time. The encyclical presents us with a challenge and an opportunity as we consider the role of engineering education in an interdependent world.

How Recycling Factors into the Vatican’s Climate Change Plan
Michele Nestor, Waste360

For starters, Francis stepped up to the mound and zipped a curve ball across the plate as the industrialized nations stood like Casey at the bat. His windup coupled the forces of industrialization, globalization and capitalism. With a little help from a holy rosin bag, he got poverty and climate change to cling tightly to those issues, just as if they were the laces sewn into the ball.


Blog author: bwalker
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pope’s climate push at odds with U.S. Catholic oil investments
Richaard Valdmanis, Reuters

But some of the largest American Catholic organizations have millions of dollars invested in energy companies, from hydraulic fracturing firms to oil sands producers, according to their own disclosures, through many portfolios intended to fund church operations and pay clergy salaries.

Bill Ritter reflects on small role 
in encyclical
Dennis Webb, The Daily Sentinel

Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter this week hailed the significance of a recent encyclical by Pope Francis on climate change — a document Ritter played a small role in helping develop.“Really it’s less about church doctrine than almost any other encyclical ever written,” Ritter said during the 12th annual AREDAY (American Renewable Energy Day) Summit.

Snow: His dictum misreads science, will doom billions to poverty
Catherine Snow, Austin American-Statesman

These are challenging times for some faithful Catholics such as me. Because, while I have utmost respect and love for our popular, approachable pontiff, I believe he has been sadly misinformed about climate change, as evidenced in his encyclical on the environment released in June.


Blog author: bwalker
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Pope declares Sept. 1 a ‘World Day of Prayer’ for the environment
Rosie Scammell, Crux

The Vatican on Monday announced a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the latest move by Pope Francis to push environmental issues up the global agenda.

For Caritas India, Laudato si’ provides the country with an opportunity for growth and development

For Frederick D’Souza, executive director of Caritas India, spoke to AsiaNews about Pope Francis’ Laudato si’ encyclical two months after its publication.

Bp. Stika (D. Knoxville) on true human ecology, Planned Parenthood, trauma
Fr. Z’s Blog

Reading the news around the Catholic world you would think that prelates and priests and lay faithful alike are going absolutely loony about climate change. Since Laudato si’ it seems as if those who read selectively have been rushing lemming-like to the ever warming sea. Running screaming waving their front legs… which lemmings can’t really do and still run. But I digress.

Diocesan social action directors take time to focus on ‘Laudato Si’’
Ed Langlois, National Catholic Reporter

“To be at odds with creation is to be at odds with God,” Dominican Sr. Kathleen McManus, associate professor of systematic theology at the University of Portland, said in a presentation to the institute’s 275 participants. “And it’s to be at odds with our neighbor and with our deepest selves.” Sponsored by the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors, the institute convened at the University of Portland July 19-23, focusing on the message of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home.”