Save "sacred earth", Scottish cardinal says

Flying less and planting more trees are not enough to avoid a devastating environmental catastrophe, Edinburgh Cardinal Keith O'Brien is warning.

BBC News reports that in his Easter message Scotland's most senior Catholic has urged people to take a bigger role in protecting the environment.

He said over-fishing, deforestation and pollution were among the planet's biggest challenges.

He said swapping a wasteful way of life with simple living was the best way of avoiding further destruction.

During the service, Cardinal O'Brien said: "We hear a great deal these days about climate change and we do well to heed the warnings about global warming that come to us almost daily.

"We must take the whole picture into account when we consider the damage being done to our Mother Earth," he said.

"But we are mistaken if we consider climate change to be the only problem, imagining that if we fly less or burn less fuel or plant more trees somehow the environmental damage will be corrected.

"Yes, we must fly less and burn less fuel and plant more trees. But these things alone are not enough, and climate change is not the only crisis we face.

"Massive and devastating environmental catastrophes continue, unaffected by climate change or carbon emissions, and we must take the whole picture into account when we consider the damage being done to our Mother Earth."

The cardinal said plans were being made by a coalition of Catholic organisations for a "live simply" project to encourage people to take more care of the environment.

In his homily, Cardinal O'Brien described increased care for the environment as an "essential element of our Easter faith", Independent Catholic News adds.

"We must protect our 'sacred earth'", he said.

"All that the Easter story raises for us, the creation, the new creation, the light, the earth, abundance, life-giving water, tell us that care for the environment is an essential element of our Easter faith, adding " we must consider ourselves to be at the service of the earth, every bit as much as we are the service of our neighbour."

Scottish Cardinal focusses on environment in Easter homily (Independent Catholic News, 9/4/07)
Cardinal makes environment plea (BBC News, 9/4/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Cardinal Keith O'Brien (Catholic Hierarchy)
Archdiocese of Edinburgh

10 Apr 2007