As the one-year anniversary of “Laudato Si’,” Pope Francis’ encyclical on creation, approached, the Dominican Sisters of Peace announced that the congregation has approved a corporate stance on “global climate change.”
Their stance, released June 8, states, “The Dominican Sisters of Peace and Associates are committed to reducing the impact of global climate change.
We support actions, programs and legislation on all levels to protect Earth’s climate, with particular concern for the negative impact affecting the lives of the poor.”
The statement goes on to note the particular connection between care for creation, justice and peace.
“Environmental issues and justice issues are intertwined elements of how we are called to relate to God’s creation both in human form and in the Earth community. Eco-justice asserts that it is not possible to care for the Earth without also caring for humanity and that seeking human justice must involve care for the environment. Therefore care for creation is part of our work for peace.”
In the June 8 announcement, Dominican Sister Judy Morris characterized climate change as the world’s most urgent issue.
“There are many challenging social concerns that we face today, but none more urgent than global climate change,” said Sister Morris, justice promoter for the Dominican Sisters of Peace.
“We must have the will as people of conscience to stand with all who seek to protect our land, air and water from those willing to risk human health, the health of our planet and further harm the poor of our world,” she said. “If we do not get this right all other social concerns will be moot. This is a pro-life issue that demands our full attention and action.”
The sisters also committed to continue efforts to influence public policy and to reduce their own impact on the environment. There are currently more than 500 Dominican Sisters of Peace and about 500 associate members serving in 36 states, plus Honduras, Nigeria and Peru.