Bathersby calls Christians to ecological conversion

As thousands marched in capital cities across Australia to call for measures to combat global warming, Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby told a rally that he believes that it is not possible to be Christian and not care about the environment.

The Courier-Mail quoted Archbishop Bathersby as telling a Brisbane crowd of 700 who gathered despite torrential rain that "I don't think we can be Christian unless we are ecologically converted."

The Archbishop's call for ecological conversion follows earlier comments at a prayer for rain campaign, where he had said that he believes policy-makers, like the public, must acknowledge their mistakes when it comes to the environment.

"I think that to a certain extent none of us have looked ahead and seen what is likely to happen through our selfishness, but I think everyone's becoming aware of it at the present time," Archbishop Bathersby said, according to an ABC report.

In Melbourne better weather meant that the Walk Against Warming attracted 30,000 with around 12,000 at the Sydney event, the Courier-Mail says.

"The aim is for the community to have an opportunity to get out and voice their concerns to politicians," Queensland Conservation co-ordinator Toby Hutcheon said.

"Politicians are looking at things that are 25 years away from offering solutions to reducing greenhouse emissions.

"We want something more immediate - energy efficiencies and a focus on renewable energy sources."

The crowd cheered Queensland Greens campaigner Drew Hutton's plan that included no new coal-fired power stations, a ban on nuclear energy plants, and a target for all energy to come from renewable sources by 2020.

In Sydney, about 12,000 people, including actor Cate Blanchett, packed the CBD around Martin Place for the start of the walk.


Climate protests draw crowds (Courier-Mail, 6/11/06)

Beattie prays for rain (ABC News, 2/11/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Walk Against Warming
Pope John Paul II, The Ecological Conversion (Catholic Online)
Archbishop John Bathersby (Archdiocese of Brisbane)
Water: A Time for prayer (Archdiocese of Brisbane)

Climate makes "ecological conversion" urgent, Vatican says (CathNews, 27/10/06)
Climate change on our doorstep, says Caritas (CathNews, 10/10/06)
Indigenous Aussies among first climate change victims (CathNews, 4/10/06)
Oceania bishops voice concern on climate change , AIDS (15/8/06)
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Lay leader says civilisation clash a political choice (CathNews, 15/9/06)
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Vatican rep urges study of causes of small arms race (CathNews, 11/1/06)

6 Nov 2006