Because taking care of the Earth isn't just for hippies!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Orthodox, Catholics Unite in Conserving Creation

Orthodox, Catholics Unite in Conserving Creation
Pope Sends Message to Symposium in Brazil

MANAUS, Brazil, JULY 18, 2006 ( Benedict XVI sent a message encouraging Christians to collaborate in the protection of the environment.

The message went to the 6th symposium on "Religion, Science and the Environment," organized by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I.

The conference is being held in the northern Amazon region of Manaus, Brazil, on "The Amazon: Source of Life."

Benedict XVI's message expresses his appreciation for the values which inspire the symposium, maintaining that religion has a decisive role to play in the protection of the environment.

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president emeritus of the Pontifical Councils of Justice and Peace and "Cor Unum," participating in the event, transmitted the Pope's words.

There are "practical objectives and (the objective) of man's survival that can and must bring together all people of good will," said the Pope in his message, which was quoted on Vatican Radio.

Ecumenical collaboration

In the task of protecting creation, the Holy Father makes reference to the common commitment of Catholics and Orthodox, seen as "an example of that collaboration" that they must both "seek with constancy to respond to the call to a common testimony."

"This implies that all Christians must cultivate at the very least openness of spirit that is dictated by charity and sinks its roots in faith. In this way they will be able to offer together to the world a credible testimony of their sense of responsibility for the protection of Creation."

According to Vatican Radio, Bartholomew I very much appreciated these words and wished to announce the Pope's visit to Turkey at the end of November.

The present symposium, which began in Manaus, gives participants the opportunity to visit traditional communities, get to know the local reality and meet with specialists who work in the region.

On boat trips on the Amazon river, local representatives have the time to debate on topics relating to environmental ethics and issues of importance to Amazonia, such as the loss of biodiversity, deforestation, the challenges facing indigenous peoples, etc.

It is the sixth of a series of symposiums, held also in ships that navigated the waters of the Aegean (1995), the Black Sea (1997), the Adriatic (2002), the Baltic (2003) and the Danube River (1999).

It is organized by the NGO "Religion, Science and the Environment," linked to the Orthodox Church, and cosponsored by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.


Comments on this later, I'm currently visiting grandparents have limited internet access..

Monday, July 17, 2006

Quote of the day: Charity

Charity is the only answer to all social problems.
– Bl. Juan Moreno

(via MyCatholic)

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Grieving Over Contraception and Sterilization

Here is a great article from Zenit regarding the emotional effects of contraception:
Grieving Over Contraception and Sterilization
Interview With Theresa Burke of Rachel's Vineyard

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pennsylvania, JULY 16, 2006 ( Debates over the use of the "morning-after" pill have often focused on the physical health of women.

Less discussed is the mental, emotional and spiritual health of women who use the drug, which can cause early abortions.

One specialist who does deal with the problem is psychologist Theresa Burke, the founder of Rachel's Vineyard Ministries. She reports that many women suffer pain and regret from use of contraception and sterilization in her book "The Contraception of Grief: The Genesis of Anguish Conceived by Abortifacients and Sterilization" (published by Priests for Life).

Burke shared with ZENIT some hidden effects of contraception and sterilization.

Q: What compelled you to write about grief associated with the use of abortifacients and sterilization? When did this trend first come to your attention?

Burke: For the past 20 years, I have been involved in the study and treatment of pregnancy loss and unresolved grief.

I never expected the subject of contraception linked to deep and hidden emotional pain to repeatedly surface during our weekends for healing after abortion.

Indeed, many abortions were associated with a failure in contraception. Any woman who leaves an abortion clinic is released with an arsenal of birth control pills. The behavior that led to the pregnancy is never addressed, but she is armed with the resources to prevent another pregnancy … or so she thinks.

Besides these obvious reasons for grief, I was rather astounded that a growing number of women, including non-Catholics, were coming forward to say that they were also experiencing profound feelings of grief and loss because of contraceptive use which resulted in spontaneous abortions.

The subject was also being brought up by those who came to assist on our retreats, and had a moment of powerful spiritual revelation regarding a deep and unnamed grief they held buried within their soul.

I have encountered this unique grief on many different occasions. I'd have to say that among the many hidden sources of shame and grief in the Church today, perhaps none go as unnoticed, unmentioned and ignored as the emotional pain from the use of contraception.

Subsequently, when the realization dawns that a child, or several children, have been lost through various methods of birth control, there can be serious emotional consequences.

Initially, my focus was only abortion, not contraception. However, I saw our role as helping women face and grieve the reality hidden in their hearts. If their soul was in pain, who was I to say that it was not real?

I gave them permission to speak the truth that was hidden and to grieve the pain that was surfacing. I also witnessed the liberation and freedom, the openness to life, the joy and vitality that followed that experience.

Janet Morana, the associate director of Priests for Life, also encouraged me to write about this.

Janet felt that the pain she suffered from contraception was profound and she knew there were many others who also shared in this grief. She felt that few in society recognized or validated this hurt and that like abortion, pregnancy loss from contraception, is also a forbidden grief.

When Rachel's Vineyard became a ministry of Priests for Life, it was one of the first new issues I began to investigate.

Q: Briefly, how do some forms of birth control act as abortifacients? Why do so few people know about these facts?


Friday, July 07, 2006

Inconvenient Christians

The website Inconvenient Christians is offering free tickets to see the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" if you are a "Committed Bible believing Christian" and promise to post your opinion of the movie on their website. I think this is a great opportunity to see this movie for free and to start meaningful discussion within Christian groups on the topic of global climate change. I'm going to take advantage of their offer, you should too!

Family is a full-time job!

Well, I haven't posted anything on here in over a week. Why? I moved home with my family for the summer!! Living with my family has certainly been a full-time job for me, it's crazy. Today a girl from New York City arrived to stay with our family for a week and a half through the Fresh Air Fund. It seems like a really cool program, I think it will be fun having her here. In preparation for her arrival, we have been cleaning the house like crazy though! I think we put out 20 bags of trash this week! In addition, my youngest sister's good friend has gone to the beach for two weeks, so I've also been re-living summer vacation as a ten year old spending time with my little sister. We've gone bike riding, played in the river, went to 7-11 for slurpees, and just hung out. It's been fun!

Overall, coming back home for the summer I have realized how much I've become accustomed to living alone. When you live alone, your day is dictated only by you, and your plans for the day pretty much. When you live with family, you might have time to do some stuff you wanted to do, but mostly your day is dictated by the needs of others. Living with others, especially family, is above all a school of love. I'm only now realizing just how vital an aspect of life it is. I hope I am able to truly appreciate and take advantage of these few months living with my family!