The Church believes our actions towards the environment and natural resources should be a sign of our respect for God’s creation.
As Pope Benedict said in Caritas in Veritate (48, 51) “The environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole…. Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other.”
We advocate for environmental, natural resource and rural life policies that appropriately consider the following:
- Land stewardship — Stewards of the land have an obligation to God, their communities and all of humanity to carry out their duties faithfully, responsibly and honestly.
- Sustainable agricultural and food security — An agricultural production system should work to overcome hunger where it persists, enhance environmental quality of available farm lands, sustain the economic capabilities of farm operations, enhance the quality of life of farmers, ranchers and producers, and enrich society as a whole.
- Economic justice — Our nation, state and local communities have a moral responsibility to provide the same level of attention, resources and economic services to smallholder farmers, fishers and herders as provided to large-scale operators.
- Climate change — At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory, political platforms or special interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and our one human family. We are responsible for respecting and protecting both our “human environment‟ and our natural environment.
More information is available through National Catholic Rural Life Conference or in the USCCB document Global Climate Change a Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good (2001).