Irish Catholic Eco Eye

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis paints a compelling picture of the people of God together rediscovering their mandate to care for God’s world. But how are we to put this noble calling into practice? Here are three suggestions at three different levels: the individual; the parish; and the diocese or denomination.

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Rich Christians in an age of climate change

The Irish churches must address economic and ecological issues, and not just spiritual and sexual ones, as part of their Kingdom mission.

From February to June of last year, I, along with many others, protested peacefully against the decision to drill an exploratory oil well less than 400m from a drinking water reservoir in the hills above Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, my then home. It was my first time getting involved in such a process, as it was for most of the others. And contrary to the claims of various politicians, the protestors were overwhelmingly local and overwhelmingly ordinary, with few classing themselves as ‘greens’ or ‘environmentalists’. Also striking was the sense of community that developed amongst this diverse group over the course of the five months: there were codes of conduct written; there were barbecues and ceilidhs held. I even brought my kids. Continue reading

The apple trees of tomorrow

A cry for church action on climate justice and fossil-fuel divestment.

It was 1963. Washington D. C. The young African-American pastor rose to his feet. Faced with the weight of history set against him; faced with the vested interests of the status quo; faced with powerful opposition, including from parts of the Church; faced with the apathy and cynicism of some, and the denial and delusion of others, he uttered these famous words.

He said ‘I have a dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Continue reading

Fossil Free Faith

The case for the Irish churches to tackle climate change by divesting their pensions and other investments from fossil-fuels.

The Maldives are a place close to my heart. Though I’ve never been, its stunning seas, wonderful wildlife and beautiful people have long captured my imagination. I’ve also spent many a moment and meeting praying that its restrictive regime might become more open, allowing true freedom of religion: I believe the people of the Maldives deserve the chance to hear and see the good news of Jesus Christ.

But there’s more at stake here than religious freedom alone. That’s because the Maldives faces another existential threat, one that has the potential to wipe this entire island archipelago off the face of the earth: climate change. Continue reading