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A See, Judge, Act Reflection on the Impacts of Mining from Rome February 2nd, 2015


Chuquicamata Copper Mine, Chile

We all use things that are made with minerals drawn from the earth – from cell phones and computers to automobiles and airplanes. But the mining often happens in places far from our own communities, so we don’t experience the impacts of mining operations personally. Concerned about the information they collected in a 2013 survey on the impacts of mining, the Rome-based Integrity of Creation Working Group of the USG-UISG’s Commission on Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) has created a powerful resource to share this. The booklet created y the group is intended to serve as a general introduction to understanding the impact of mining industries on the community and the environment.

Using the Pastoral Cycle or the See-Judge-Act Process model, the booklet is divided into three main sections: Part One (“See”) provides an overview of some features of mining industries, as seen through the lens of equity; Part Two (“Judge”) presents theological, scriptural and ethical reflections; and Part Three (“Act”) offers practical suggestions for changing personal and communal behavior, which include ways of working for appropriate national and international legal frameworks, and implementation to ensure a sustainable future for the Earth Community. The booklet also suggests resources, experiences and prayers, including questions for you and your community.

Read: A See, Judge, Act Reflection on the Impacts of Mining (Download PDF)



Catholic News Service’s Fracking Series Illuminates Controversial Issue February 21st, 2014

Image Source: US EPA

Image Source: US EPA

Catholic News Service reporter, Dennis Sadowski, has written a series of five articles on hydraulic fracking from a faith perspective. Fracking is a complicated issue, yet Sadowski provides a clear overview of this controversial energy source while blending in environmental justice teachings of the Church.

By clicking on a title, you will be taken to the article at the Catholic News Service website:

To frack or not to frack: Debate examines America’s quest for energy

Advances in drilling technology led to fracking’s rapid expansion

Religious community chooses nature over riches of a natural gas lease

Faith motivates Catholics to speak out on gas, oil-drilling practices

Families seek recourse in lawsuits for wells considered a nuisance

Catholic voices raise moral concerns in country’s fracking debates


Earth Day 2014 Parish Resources February 21st, 2014

Photo by Christina Herman, all rights reserved

Photo by Christina Herman, all rights reserved

This year’s resource from Creation Justice Ministries is  entitled “Water, Holy Water” and is available for free as an electronic download. The resource delves into the multitude of water issues we face and highlights the spiritual importance of this resource. Sermon tips are included. Download a copy of the resource here…

The Catholic Climate Covenant suggests that in 2014, we join tens of thousands of other Catholics who will learn about the dramatic evidence of climate change and explore Catholic teaching on climate change. This year’s Feast of St. Francis program is “Melting Ice, Mending Creation: a Catholic Approach to Climate Change.”

The program highlights the Pontifical Academy of Science’s Working Group (PAS) statement, Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene. This is combined with a “TED” talk by James Balog, the science photographer behind the documentary film Chasing Ice, who documented some of the most vivid evidence yet of climate change.

In their declaration, the Pontifical Academy of Science calls on all people and nations to recognize the serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and by changes in forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other land uses. Read the Report and the Summary (first 5 pages) of the report here. 

Access the Melting Ice, Mending Creation materials here…


Climate Change Impacts on Water December 18th, 2013


Along the Rio Grande River in Texas; photo courtesy of Patti Radle

An increase in global temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius would likely result in chronic water scarcity—less than 1,000 cubic meters per person per year—for 21 percent of the global population, according to new climate models developed by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Climate Progress reported. An increase of just 1 degree Celsius would create chronic water scarcity for 13 percent of the population and absolute water scarcity—less than 500 cubic meters per person per year—for 6 percent of the population.

A newly released study of the Lower Rio Grande River Basin predicts that climate change will reduce water supplies by more than 86,000 acre-feet each year by 2060, leaving a total annual supply shortfall in the basin of 678,522 acre-feet, Science Daily reported. The shortfall is expected to create problems for irrigators in the basin, and the study suggested looking at desalinated brackish groundwater as an alternative to surface water supplies.


Vatican Hosts Mining CEO’s in a “Day of Reflection” September 11th, 2013

vatican mining meeting 2013

Participants of the “Vatican Day of Reflection on Mining” in front of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in Rome                                                                 



The CEOs of some of the world’s top mining companies went to the Vatican for a day-long meeting last Saturday to discuss better ways to operate in communities that are increasingly protesting the destructive impacts of mining. Communities are fearful – with good reason – of the impacts of mining on their water, land and air.

Saturday’s “day of reflection with the mining industry,” was organized, at the request of leaders in the mining sector, by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. It included the CEOs of Anglo American, Rio Tinto and Newmont Mining, who alone represented companies with well more than $100-billion (U.S.) in market value. The chairmen, presidents or senior executives of dozens of other companies, ranging from AngloGold Ashanti to African Rainbow Minerals, were also present. Fr. Seamus Finn OMI, from the USP JPIC team in Washington DC, was invited to be a part of the team that prepared the day of reflection and offered input during the day. Pope Francis offered a message of greeting and challenge to the group and offered his prayers and blessings on the event.

The companies were interested “to open a dialogue where mining interfaces with the community … to hear other views with the promise of all of us making a difference.”

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