[CUA Office of Public Affairs]

"Live in Harmony With Creation,"
Urges Champion of Environment

November 4, 1998



A member of the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace today urged people to live more simply and commit themselves to protecting the environment now and for future generations.

"To commit oneself to the promotion of a sound and healthy environment for all is to follow God’s plan for creation, a plan entrusted to us from the beginning," said Sister Marjorie Keenan, R.S.H.M., at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

"It is a sacred task, one which affects every aspect of our life," she said. "The costs are high, but think of the heavy price already paid by others, among whom the people living in those countries that are resource poor, development poor."

Keenan, who has been a member of the council at the Vatican since 1996, is a strong champion of the environment and of disarmament. "I promote living in harmony with all creation," she said.

Noting that the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Climate change is meeting in Buenos Aires, she said the possibility of long-term climate change "leads directly to a much broader ethical reflection. She referred specifically to consequences of the present pattern of industrial growth, urban concentration, energy and production use.

"The basic factors of human responsibility for the good of all must be at the root of decisions that often seem far from the human person and that are very often made with only present interests in view," she said.

She suggested that attempts at land reform "must be accompanied by adequate training for the small farmer.

"Without this land distribution can lead to a downward spiral of soil exhaustion and river silting that leads people in an already precarious situation to move on in the search of new land, often in fragile areas, such as slopes, wetlands or woodlands. The destruction cycle begins again."

Keenan’s talk was sponsored by the university’s Department of Theology, one of five departments in the School of Religious Studies. The school is particularly well known for its role in training scholars for the academic community and leaders for the Church and nation. Catholic University is a unique academic learning education institution established by the U.S. Catholic bishops.



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Revised: November 9, 1998

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The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.