Environment and Conservation
Concern for the gift of God’s creation is not new; it is reflected in the Psalms, Scriptures and the life of Jesus as well as the lives of the saints, not least St Francis of Assisi.
Many popes have written encyclicals, published books and papers on environmental issues including Pope St John Paul and Pope Benedict as well as other learned theologians. The most recent and best known of these is Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical LAUDATO SI’: CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME
The Holy Father’s Encyclical begins:
- “LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.
- This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.
Nothing in this world is indifferent to us!
In the Diocese of Leeds, we spread awareness of Laudato Si’, try to live as far as possible by its principles, and communicate its messages. In his Encyclical, the Holy Father mentions the word ‘dialogue’ 25 times, describing the gravity of the ecological crisis demanding that we all look to the common good, embarking on ‘a path of dialogue which demands patience, self-discipline and generosity, always keeping in mind that ‘realities are greater than ideas’. This page aims to inform, engage and enthuse all in hearing – and listening – to the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth. Our response to the climate crisis is to prioritise deeds over words as we aim for on-going ecological-conversion.
Click here to read what some of our parishioners, Laudato Si’ Advocates, members of the Diocesan Curia and the Bishop have to say on Environmental issues – but – actions speak louder than words! Our DIOCESE OF LEEDS ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY refrains from making easy, empty promises or grand gestures. Instead, we actively aim for 2030, following practices in fuel provision, in property building and maintenance and in travel which are achievable, measurable – and have a real impact in the aim towards carbon neutrality.
Working with Interdiocesan Fuel Management (IFM) for many years, our most recent Green Energy certificates show progress in the right direction: 100% of our electricity is from renewable sources, and 71% of Gas.
We have also obtained through IFM, the raw data on our energy consumption which will enable us to calculate a baseline for our Carbon Footprint, using the following template methodology created by the Guardians of Creation Group.
Other priorities on our list of achievable green initiatives with real impact include home and hybrid working for Curia employees, cutting down on commuting pollution, plus other plans in progress addressing national and international travel.
The Diocesan Curia Environmental Group comprises a team including decision makers with professional expertise at your service to help with, and learn from, YOUR parish and school ideas and communicate your initiatives through this page to inspire others!
The Curia Team may be contacted via: email@example.com