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Bishops to climb Sydney Harbour Bridge to promote Catholic Earthcare

Four of its Bishops will attempt the Sydney Harbour Bridge Bridgeclimb today to publicise the formation of a new agency of the church, Catholic Earthcare Australia.

Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane, chair of The Bishops' Committee for Justice, Development Ecology and Peace, will be leading the climb over Sydney's main arch. He'll be supported by Bishops William Morris (Toowoomba) Geoffrey Jarrett (Lismore) and Christopher Saunders of Broome.

"Catholic Earthcare Australia (CEA) is a response from the bishops of Australia to take Pope John Paul II's many pleas for people everywhere to take greater responsibility in caring for the increasingly threatened natural environment," said Archbishop Bathersby. "The Pope has been speaking passionately about the environment for the past ten years."

"This is a national initiative which plans to mobilise Australia's five million Catholics to take decisive action to protect the natural world before it's too late. We want to stress the fact that the environment is not a marginal issue for a few 'greenies', but a mainstream social issue that has major implications for us all."

Archbishop Bathersby, himself a keen bushwalker, explained that the CEA is guided by an advisory council comprising 20 environmental experts from around Australia. These include people such as Patrick Dodson, Christine Milne (Tasmanian Green), Fr Brian Gore, Sandra Menteith (Oz Green) and Fr Andrew Granc (Franciscan Priest).

The official launch of CEA will take place in a Mass and ceremony in Sydney on Sunday, at St Francis of Assisi Church, Paddington at 9.30am. A newly produced video - The Garden Planet - will be the centrepiece of the launch function. A copy of the video will be sent to every Catholic school and parish in Australia.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
St Francis of Assissi, Paddington


28 Jun 2002