Denver, Colo., Aug 30, 2023 / 15:00 pm
Just as Christians have been restored to God’s kingdom through baptism, they must seek to rightly order their relationships and society to God’s creation, the U.S. bishops said in an environmental reflection ahead of the Sept. 1 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
“We must change! Pope Francis invites us to ‘transform our hearts, our lifestyles, and the public policies [to] contribute to the mighty river of justice and peace in this Season of Creation,’” the bishops said Tuesday.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ statement, titled “Let Justice and Peace Flow,” linked the waters of Christian baptism to the waters of the earth. The geography and history of the U.S., they said, should predispose Americans “to recognize the image of divine blessings expressed as flowing waters.” They noted major rivers and the Great Lakes as well as the oceans on the U.S. borders, calling these “sources of life, economic well-being, biodiversity, recreation, inspiration, and beauty.”
“The abundant waterways of our country have brought productive farms and flourishing urbanizations,” the bishops’ statement continued. “Yet along with economic prosperity and ingenuity, our waterways have been filled with pollution, contamination, and garbage bringing injustice to peoples, creatures, and ecosystems.”