Author and environmentalist Fr Paul Collins says it's only a matter of time before St Francis of Assisi is recognised as patron saint for the environment.
    "We need a Catholic body that looks after endangered species and the environment. Something like a St Francis of Assisi for the environment that is into social justice, environmental justice to reflect the growing consciousness among Christians of the need to defend God's creation, a willingness to defend what's left in the world," he told The Catholic Weekly.
    Fr Collins published 'God's Earth' in 1993. The book examines the attitudes of Christianity that have alienated us from the envorinment. He believes the natural world can act as a "vector towards God".
    He said some religious orders are starting to take the environment seriously.
    "I've talked to a lot of environmentalists, young and old, who said they've discovered God in the transcendence, the otherness, in the environment. In a way this fits nicely with the mystic tradition of the Catholic Church."
Cath Weekly
27 July 00

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