THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON ECOLOGICAL DEGRADATION
Prepared by Heather R. Whittington
An Honor's Program Project
Theology 170 Theology and the Natural Sciences
Marquette University, Spring 2004
A Hospitable Earth for Future Generations by Pope Paul VI to the Stockholm Conference on Human Environment, 1 June 1972.
The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility by Pope John Paul II on the World Day of Peace, 1990.
Joint Declaration on Articulating a Code of Environmental Ethics (The Venice Declaration) by Pope John Paul II and Eastern Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, 2002.
Address at the Liturgy of the Word by Pope John Paul II (Zamosc Homily), 12 June 1999.
In this homily given in Poland, the Pope urges responsibility and respect for God’s gift of nature.
"God made man the steward of creation" by Pope John Paul II to a General Audience, 17 Jan 2001.
Message of John Paul II for the 23rd World Day of Tourism, 24 June 2002.
The Pope speaks on being cautious about ecotourism.
Centesimus Annus 37-38 (1991) by Pope John Paul II.
Section of the encyclical in which the Pope declares that humans must preserve both the natural and human environments.
Evangelium Vitae 42 (1995) by Pope John Paul II.
Humans are subject to moral laws to be responsible towards our environment.
Octogesima Adveniens 21 by Pope Paul VI (1971).
Exploitation of the environment is a human social problem.
Papal Statements after Bishops’ Meetings
Ecclesia in America 25, a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation by Pope John Paul II, (1999)
The Pope’s call to Americans for ecological preservation and reducing consumption.
Ecclesia in Asia 41, a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation by Pope John Paul II (1999)
The Pope’s message to people of Asia to care for their environment.
Ecclesia in Oceania 31, a Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation by Pope John Paul II (2001)
The Pope’s call to the people of Oceania to work towards preserving their environment.
Note on the Celebration of the World Day of Biological Diversity by the Pontifical Council for Justice Peace, 22 May 2002.
"Water, an essential element for life" by the Holy See Delegation on the Occasion of the ThirdWorld Water Forum, 22 March 2003.
Statements to the United Nations
Statement of Archbishop Martino, Head of the Holy See Delegation, to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 4 June 1992.
Statement that calls for stewardship and solidarity in actions concerning development and the natural environment.
"Environment and sustainable development: Protecting of global climate for present and future generations of mankind" by Monsignor Raffaele Martino on Item 98F, 28 November 2001.
Cooperative Pastoral Statements by Bishops
"Christians and Their Duty Towards Nature" by the Australian Bishop’s Committee for Justice, Development and Peace.
"Pastoral Letter on the Relationship of Human Beings to Nature" by the Dominican Episcopal Conference, 21 January 1987.
"What is Happening to our Beautiful Land?" by the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, 29 January 1988.
"The Cry For Land" by the Guatemalan Bishops Conference, 29 February 1988.
Letter focusing on the issues of agrarian land use and ownership in Guatemala.
"Ecology: The Bishops of Lombardy Address the Community" by the Catholic Bishops of Northern Italy, 15 September 1988.
Renewing the Earth: An Invitation to Reflection and Action on Environment in Light of Catholic Social Teaching by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, 1991. (Can be ordered in print from USCCB.)
"Companions in Creation" by the Bishops of Florida, 1991.
"Celebrate Life: Care for Creation" by the Bishops of Alberta, Canada, 1998.
Partnership for the Future by the Roman Catholic Bishops in New Mexico, 11 May 1998.
Pastoral Statement on the Environmental Crisis by the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, 5 September 1999.
At the end of this letter encouraging awareness and participation in conservation efforts, there is a list of contacts to several environmental organizations in South Africa.
"And God saw that it was good" by the Bishops of the Boston Province, 2000.
A Pastoral Letter on the Forests of the Sierra Tarahumara by the Catholic Bishops of Northern Mexico, 29 March 2000.
Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2001.
The Columbia River Watershed: Caring for Creation and the Common Good by the Catholic Bishops of the Region, 8 January 2001.
A New Earth - The Environmental Challenge by the Australian Catholic Bishops, 2002.
"You Love All that exists… All thing are yours, God, Lover of life" by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, 4 October 2003.
Contains a focus on water and describes three forms of response to eco-justice.
Statements by Bishops
Pastoral Letter on the Environment by the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly.
This Irish archbishop calls for environmental stewardship and focuses on issues concerning water.
"Stewards of Life, Stewards of Nature" by the Bishop of Camden.
Catholic EarthCare Australia: http://www.catholicearthcareoz.net/index.html
The USCCB Environmental Justice Program: http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/ejp/index.htm
National Religious Partnership for the Environment: http://www.nrpe.org/
National Ecology Commission: Secular Franciscan Order: http://pages.map.com/SFEcology/index.html|
Catholic Conservation Center: http://conservation.catholic.org/
National Catholic Rural Life Conference: http://www.ncrlc.com/
Christiansen, D. and Grazer, W., eds. (1996). And God Saw That It Was Good: Catholic Theology and the Environment. Washington DC: United States Catholic Conference, Inc.
Dent, Sister Ancilla, ed. (1997). Ecology and Faith: The Writings of Pope John Paul II. Ipswich, Suffolk, Great Britian: Ipswich Book Company.
Keenan, Sister Marjorie. (2002). From Stockholm to Johannesburg: An Historical Overview of the Concern of the Holy See for the Environment, 1972-2002. Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana. (Order from USCCB)
United States Catholic Conference. (1996). Let the Earth Bless the Lord: God’s Creation and Our Responsibility, A Catholic Approach to the Environment. Washington DC: United States Catholic Conference, Inc. (Order from USCCB)