This afternoon, I attended the first in a series of six sessions studying Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’ (In Care of Our Common Home). In a small group and then with the whole room, we had been discussing access to clean drinking water as a human right and how that right is denied to so many now, either through the mechanism of climate change or through inequitable distribution and use of water resources.
I was listening to the radio as I drove away and heard a story about how most McDonald’s restaurants are now serving breakfast all day, but, due to kitchen limitations, each had to decide whether to serve biscuit sandwiches or egg McMuffins as part of all day breakfast, as there wasn’t room for both.
The contrast was stark.
I wish that we were hearing more, speaking out more, and doing more about water rights, here in the United States and around the world, especially the access of those who have limited financial means. Also, climate issues, peacemaking, social justice, and global initiatives to end poverty.
Egg McMuffins versus sausage biscuits? Not so much.
I’ve recently joined a new organization, the Catholic Peace Community of the Southern Tier. There are people from several different parishes and we are hoping to build peace through working on different social justice areas.
Our first activities are dealing with the environment and climate change. One of the main tenets of Catholic social justice teaching is care of creation. Also involved are other tenets, such as the protection of the most vulnerable. Those who are living in poverty are much more likely to be subjected to pollutants and also more likely to be impacted by severe weather and sea level rise, as they live in vulnerable areas without strong shelter and do not have the means to relocate out of harm’s way.
We are looking forward to Pope Francis’s upcoming encyclical on the environment and will study the document when it is released in the late spring or early summer. Then we hope to get the word out about the encyclical not only to Catholic parishes but also to the general public in advance of the Paris climate summit in December.
Our first public event is on the 25th of this month when we will have a table at EarthFest. Pope Paul VI said, “If you want peace, work for justice.” We hope to build peace by working on various justice issues, but I am glad that we are starting with this timely work for ecojustice.
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness this Saturday is: “piece/peace.” To join in the fun, visit here: http://lindaghill.com/2015/04/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-1815/