Bishops, CUA, Catholic Coalition On Climate Change Sponsor Joint Symposium

November 8, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Catholic scholars, U.S. bishopsand Catholic leaders from around the Washington region will discuss the moraland religious implications of global climate change and environmental justice ata November 8-10 symposium at The Catholic University of America (CUA). "ACatholic Consultation on Environmental Justice and Climate Change: AssessingPope Benedict XVI's Ecological Vision for the Catholic Church in the UnitedStates" is sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), CUA'sInstitute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies, and the Catholic Coalitionon Climate Change.

"We have seen the destructive impactof climate change and environmental degradation both around the world and athome," said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of theUSCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. "These impacts oftenmultiply the hardship experienced by the most vulnerable people in the world.Pope Benedict has consistently drawnattention to these issues and urges all to take moral responsibility to reduceour environmental impact and our carbon footprint. This symposium is animportant step in guiding our Catholic response to these challenges."

Bishop Bernard Unabali from PapauNew Guinea will deliver the symposium's opening address on Thursday evening.Bishop Unabali assisted with the relocation of many residents of the CarteretIslands to his diocese. These residents, among the world's first "climaterefugees," were forced to abandon their islands due to the impacts of climatechange.

Other bishops in attendance willinclude Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California; Bishop Donald Kettler ofFairbanks, Alaska; Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida; Bishop John Ricard,retired bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida; and Bishop William Skylstad,retired bishop of Spokane, Washington.

Scholars presenting on the moral andtheological dimensions of ecology and climate change will come from thefollowing colleges and universities: CUA, Fordham, St. Louis, GraduateTheological Union, Notre Dame, Duke, Marquette, Xavier, Duquesne, Santa Clara,Mount St. Mary's and Georgetown.

The Catholic Coalition on ClimateChange is a consortium of national Catholic organizations including the USCCB,Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, the National CatholicEducation Association, the Franciscan Action Network, the Association ofCatholic Colleges and Universities, and the National Catholic Rural LifeConference, among others.

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Keywords: USCCB, U.S. bishops, The Catholic University ofAmerica, CUA, Catholic Coalition on Climate Change, Catholic Climate Covenant,Bishop Stephen Blaire, Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop Bernard Unabali, CarteretIslands, climate refugees, Hurricane Sandy, Domestic Justice and HumanDevelopment

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MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Don ClemmerO: 202-541-3206Email