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UK News

UK Catholic Church changes environment teachings after 20 years

by Sophie Drew

A Catholic teaching document that describes the way the UK church should approach the environment is set to be changed.

The document - titled The Call of Creation - was first published in 2002. 

Now, twenty years later - after further research on the ever-changing climate - amendments are being made on the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecologists and animals, by the Social Justice Department of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

It calls for members of the Catholic Church to work towards "repairing our relationship with God's creation." 

Writing in the foreword, Bishop John Arnold, lead bishop for the environment, and Bishop Richard Moth, chair of the Social Justice department, say:
"We are a people of hope who believe in redemption. We must study the signs of the times and take the action that is needed to repair our relationship with God's creation. As is made clear in The Call of Creation, the exercise of the virtue of solidarity and the promotion of the common good, which are so needed at this time, are the responsibility of each and every individual and institution in society."

Whilst they call for the Church to be united in their efforts, the importance of individual action is also stressed:

"Individual choices can seem insignificant when faced with major global challenges," the document reads.

But Pope Francis has rightly stated that multiplied individual actions can indeed make a real difference.

"As individual children of God, it is important that we think carefully about how we use consumer goods and value simplicity in our lives. 

"We should also care for, and nurture, that part of God's creation for which we are particularly responsible. 

"By doing this, collectively, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we can also help to change our culture."

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