WHAT DO OUR BISHOPS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT CARE FOR CREATION?

We have been inviting Bishops from around the country to share with us their thoughts on Laudato Si’ and ecological conversion. Here are the first 4 reflections recorded, with permission, at our “Living Laudato Si’: Your Parish and Your Planet” retreats which we are being hosted by Boarbank Hall (read more about them here). Due to the COVID 19 Pandemic these retreats were held online.

Bishop Richard Moth
Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

Bishop Richard Moth centred his talk around that idea that “all is gift”, that in order to care for our common home we must recognise the true value of the gift that we have been given by God through Creation.

“What questions do I ask? How much oil is there beneath that hill or under that part of the ocean?…Or do I ask this: this world around me is a gift, how can I act most responsibly towards that gift? This creature is a gift to the world, how can I make the environment better for its wellbeing? Knowing that if I address this, my own environment will be the richer.”

Watch the full video above or download the transcript here.

Bishop John Arnold
Diocese of Salford

Bishop John Arnold shared some thoughts on the need for practical, individual and community-based responses to Laudato Si’. He emphasised that:

“We cannot leave the future to politics and politicians. Pope Francis does not suggest that the remedies to our problems and climate change will just be from the top down. He is always insistent that each and every one of us, no matter what our age, abilities or state of life, is a missionary disciple”.

Watch the full video above or download the transcript here.

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon
Archdiocese of Liverpool

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon spoke about the need for us all to undertake an ecological conversion; a conversion of heart that draws us closer to Jesus. He linked this conversion with the need to dialogue and dream with others about how we can build a better world.

“The conversion, which he talks about in that encyclical, is about establishing relationships with each other so that through encounter we can enter into dialogue. Once we’re in dialogue, then we can dream.”

Watch the full video above or download the transcript here.

Bishop Philip Egan
Diocese of Portsmouth

Bishop Philip Egan spoke about the great spiritual traditions of Catholic theology that help us to understand that Care for Creation is at the centre of our tradition, from the book of Genesis into all aspects of Catholic Social Teaching.

“The Christian ecologist brings to the table a profound, theological understanding of nature, interrelated with a broad, comprehensive anthropology framed around three parameters: God, nature and an authentic humanism.”

Watch the full video above or download the transcript here.

Bishop Peter Brignall
Diocese of Wrexham

Bishop Peter Brignall shared some ideas on the wealth of knowledge and spirituality that can be drawn from non-Catholic traditions, particularly that of Celtic Green Spirituality.

“From our own islands, we have that strong Celtic spirituality, which has much to say to us today with that appreciation of green spirituality and ecological values. Rhythms and cycles of nature, daily life of things both small and great, that are still beyond our comprehension or explanation.”

Watch the full video above or download the transcript here.

Archbishop John Wilson
Archdiocese of Southwark

Archbishop John Wilson discussed the idea of the human soul in relation to our response to the ecological and social crises we see around us.

“Our concern for the whole of Creation must resonate within us, created as we are in God’s image and likeness; it must touch our soul; it must stir up a profound awareness of our responsibility to protect and nurture God’s gifts. We can either choose to embrace God’s gifts of Creation and life, attuning our soul to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, or we can choose to reject God’s gifts, refusing to hear the cry of the earth, refusing to hear the cry of the poor.”

Watch the full video above or download the transcript here.

Archbishop Bernard Longley
Archdiocese of Birmingham

Archbishop Bernard Longley highlights the integral nature of humankind’s relationship with our surroundings, drawing upon the way that the Franciscan tradition is deeply embedded in Laudato Si’.

“At the heart of Laudato Si’ is an alternative pattern of justice, an integral ecology which respects our unique place in this world as human beings and our relationship to our surroundings.  Since we are in fact part of nature we are not faced with two separate crises, but rather one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.”

Watch the full video above or download the transcript here.

Bishop Marcus Stock
Diocese of Leeds

Bishop Marcus Stock reminded listeners of the importance to remember that our efforts are not alone and that all of our work should be grounded in the reality that God, as Creator, is actively working to protect and nurture Creation.

“And when, through human pride and sinfulness, he sees His Creation fallen, He looks on with His loving eyes and begins the process of healing which will receive its full manifestation in the life death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.”

Watch the full video above or download the transcript here.