At last we are in fashion! Back in 1995 I wrote a CTS pamphlet entitled, Must Catholics be Green? It had seemed obvious to me for a long time that any sane person would want to look after the beautiful world that God had given us to live in. Pope John Paul II thought the same, and I included in the pamphlet his wonderful letter on the topic for the World Day of Peace. But few other people, at least in the Catholic world, were thinking in the same way then.
Now, suddenly, everyone has got the point. Pope Francis has led the way, and with the wonderful Laudato Si’, a new wave of economists is suddenly talking common sense, climate change has suddenly come on the scene (it didn’t even make it into my 1995 pamphlet) and being “green” is fashionable, even if we haven’t yet worked out how to do it.
I have revised the pamphlet, with a new title that links it to the encyclical: Catholics and Our Common Home: Caring for the Planet We Share. I include a lot of quotations from Laudato Si’ and previous encyclicals, because a big part of my aim is to point out that Catholic Christianity has always supported the essentials of ecological thinking. I’ve also tried to provide some encouragement for those of you who would like to be greener, but are finding that society doesn’t make it very easy.
Now, at least, most people are saying the right things. Can we encourage each other actually to do them?