A bulletin produced by the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission
of the Archdiocese of Brisbane
Tuesday, 20 October 2020
"The continued acceleration of changes affecting humanity and the planet is coupled today with a more intensified pace of life and work which might be called “rapidification”. Although change is part of the working of complex systems, the speed with which human activity has developed contrasts with the naturally slow pace of biological evolution. Moreover, the goals of this rapid and constant change are not necessarily geared to the common good or to integral and sustainable human development. Change is something desirable, yet it becomes a source of anxiety when it causes harm to the world and to the quality of life of much of humanity."
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, No. 18
Season of Creation
If you were not able to join us for our series of Season of Creation webinars, you can catch up on each of the webinars on the Archdiocesan channel.
The Season of Creation ended in Brisbane with a Mass of Creation led by Archbishop Mark Coleridge in the Cathedral of St Stephen. It is worth having a listen to Archbishop Coleridge’s homily which reflects on our commitment to care for our common home. Archbishop Coleridge invited us to join with St Francis of Assisi in being sisters and brothers to all of creation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n4WbE6mcRQ&list=PL8-1Dil2Zzb_v-0khKGn5WkAxsRJgEqwE&index=2
National Recycling Week
National Recycling Week is November 9 -15. It is an opportunity for us to think about our use of resources and how that impacts on our environment. Planet Ark runs the National Recycling Week program and has information on recycling resources, buying items made from recycled material, re-using materials and promoting a circular economy. To find out more, go to: https://planetark.org/programs/national-recycling-week
Stepping Up in National Recycling Week is the title of our next webinar. It will focus on a key challenge of Laudato Si’ – our throwaway culture as Pope Francis calls it. He challenges us to do more than recycle our waste. Instead, he calls on us to think about how much we buy into the consumerist culture which encourages us to consume the earth’s resources without a thought for the damage we are doing. Our guest speakers will be Dr David Tutty, Executive Officer of the Social Justice Commission of the Diocese of Toowoomba and Liam Rankine, Community Relationships Manager, Clean Up Australia. David will speak about what Laudato Si’ says about our throwaway culture and wastefulness and Liam will introduce us to Clean Up Australia’s Step Up program.
Clean Up Australia is a national organisation committed to cleaning up the rubbish that litters our country and spoils its natural beauty. It is well-known for organising Clean Up Australia Day on the first Sunday in March. Clean Up Australia Day 2021 is Sunday 7 March 2021. Clean Up Australia provides you with all the information you will need to join a local clean up or to organise one in your community. There are also opportunities for schools, businesses and organisations to organise a clean up.
Clean Up Australia is encouraging Australians to not only participate in a clean up event once a year, but to clean up rubbish locally all year round. So, you can look for opportunities to participate in or arrange a clean up locally at any time of the year.
Clean Up Australia also provides lots of information on reducing waste and managing our resources wisely. It’s well worth taking a look at the information on their Step Up campaign. Find this information at: https://www.cleanup.org.au/
Laudato Si' Audit
In 2019, a Living Laudato Si’ page was established on the Archdiocesan web site. Included in the resources offered to parishes, communities, schools, agencies and groups was an integral ecology audit. Have you used this audit tool to establish a baseline as a starting point for your community to discuss how you could deepen your commitment to caring for our common home? If you haven’t, it’s not too late to start. You can find a link to the integral ecology audit at: https://brisbanecatholic.org.au/life/living-laudato-si/#living-laudato-si-parish-amp-agency
Learning About Laudato Si'
Understanding the key messages of Laudato Si’ is vital. Many think that its focus is climate change or implementing so-called sustainability or greening measures in your household, parish, school or agency office. As important as these are, Pope Francis is challenging us to make a change which is much more fundamental than taking climate action or installing energy efficient lighting.
Among the resources you will find in the page mentioned in the previous article, you will find a series of learning and reflection materials in the Lent 2020 resource. When you think about deepening your understanding of Laudato Si’, this collection of resources is a good starting point.
In addition, take a look at these two recently produced resources which will help you to learn more about what Pope Francis is talking about in Laudato Si’ when he invites us to embark on a journey of ecological conversion:
Christians in Dialogue: The Relation between Faith and Caring for the Environment is an ecumenical dialogue and discussion resource which may be a useful starter for you if you want to talk in your own community or with Christians from other communities about our Christian commitment to caring for the environment. You will find the resource on the web site of the Queensland Churches Together: http://www.qct.org.au/images/documents/christians_in_dialogue/12_11_the_environment.pdf
The Archdiocesan Justice & peace Commission has also been working with the Social Justice Commission of the Diocese of Toowoomba and Queensland Churches Environmental Network (QCEN) on developing a series of eco-spirituality discussion resources. These are intended to help Christians to come together and explore how our faith shapes our commitment to caring for the environment. An initial set of resources for you to use in groups which self-organise will, hopefully, be available in the next couple of months. It’s also hoped that QCEN will organise eco-spirituality discussions across Queensland in the future. Stay tuned for more details in our next bulletin.
Natural Parks for Life
The Archdiocesan Justice & Peace Commission has been a member of the Queensland Conservation Council for over 20 years. One of QCC’s flagship campaigns in 2020 is the National Parks for Life campaign. The campaign seeks a better deal for our national parks and protected areas, key to a well-managed system for protecting the precious animals and plants which make our State special. The campaign has a petition and other activities . You can find the petition and more information at: https://www.queenslandconservation.org.au/national_parks_for_life
Power Up Qld
Power Up Queensland is another flagship campaign of the Queensland Conservation Council. It is focussed on encouraging Queensland’s political leaders to power our State with clean, renewable energy. Find out more at: https://www.queenslandconservation.org.au/powerupqld
EPBC Act Reform
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity (EPBC) ACT has undergone a significant review and an interim report has already been issued. The Federal Government has already submitted to Parliament significant amendments to the Act before the final review report is issued. Of particular concern in the legislation before Parliament now is a plan to devolve responsibility to the States and Territories. The Senate will begin its consideration of these reforms next month. You can find out more about the concerns being expressed about these reforms at the Environmental Defenders Office web site : https://www.edo.org.au/the-epbc-act-review-2020/
This may be something you could take up with one or more of your Senators. You will find a list of Senators and their contact details at: https://www.aph.gov.au/
During the Season of Creation, we held a very successful webinar on protecting the platypus in partnership with the Wildlife Preservation Society Queensland (WPSQ). There are many ways you can get involved in WPSQ’s work protecting endangered, threatened and vulnerable species in our State. WPSQ is always looking for volunteers to support its projects such as the Quoll Seekers Network. It is also involved in the on-going campaign to reduce plastic waste in Queensland. New legislation in Queensland this year banned more plastic waste, but there is more to be done! Take a look at WPSQ’s web site and find out the many ways you can do something to protect the species that are so special to our State: https://wildlife.org.au/