Adelaide Catholics encouraged to observe International Year of Fresh Water
Executive officer of Adelaide's Justice and Peace Commission Chris Keating has urged local Catholics to focus on this year's UNESCO International Year for Fresh Water.
"It is responding to the fact that there are more than one billion people in the world that lack access to safe drinking water," he told The Advertiser. "It is looking at encouraging the Australian government and other governments to help achieve goals set by the United Nations to ensure adequate access to sanitation by 2015."
The environmental push began last year when the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference released the annual Social Justice Statement on the theme of the environment.
"What the church does have to contribute in the environmental area is the spirituality and perspective that all people and the planet need to be respected," said Mr Keating. "It is a conviction that the ecological crisis which faces us is not just a technical challenge, it is also a moral issue."
Mr Keating said the church is asking the faithful to take action this year in several ways including forming action groups, writing to local politicians urging more effective protection laws for the environment, and to incorporate environmental themes in prayer and worship.
"At the local level, schools and a number of parishes are engaged in actions to support the environment," he said.
"Star of the Sea Catholic School at Henley Beach has established a marine discovery centre. That centre gives parents, staff, students and volunteers the opportunity to study the local environment and to explore comparative ways of promoting environmental awareness and conservation of the marine ecosystem along the Adelaide coast. We are encouraging congregations to take responsibility for a piece of area around their church or a local area of bushland and to get active at that local level."
The Advertiser (payment required)
International Year of FreshWater
Justice and Peace Commission (Adelaide)
A New Earth: The Environmental Challenge (2002 Social Justice Sunday Statement)
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
20 Jan 2003