Saturday, August 7, 2010

Envioronmentally Friendly Catholic Church Of Korea

Recently, a small group of Maryknollers here in Korea  have been meeting once a month to discuss how we as a community can be more ecologically sensitive. The Society, which has urged us to move from words to action, provides the following guidelines:

a.  Applaud Society members who are engaged in the ministry of ecology and encourage more members to develop this ministry. 

b. Launch educational programs for Society members and those writing for Society publications.

c. Support and cooperate with the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns in their endeavors to educate and to lobby for ecological issues. 

d. Join with other organizations, faith-based and civil, that share a concern for the environment.

e. Initiate long-term planning for stewardship of Society lands and properties.

f. Minimize the impact of greenhouse gas emissions by individual Society members and the Society itself.

g. Reduce, or eliminate when possible, institutional practices that damage the environment.

The Korean Church, in its on-going efforts to encourage better stewardship of creation, has sponsored articles, lectures, educational programs and increased involvement in ecological movements. A few months ago, we had another visit by Fr. Sean McDonagh, a Columban priest and well-known specialist in ecology, who was giving lectures in Korea.  He said that when he started talking on these issues, he felt like Galileo. His first book, "To Care For the Earth," was rejected by publishers for three years before it was finally published, and at the time not only was the relationship of ecology and theology little understood but the interest in ecology was minimal. "In comparison to what it was 30 years ago--when I could understand the feelings of Galileo--there's been quite a change in the number of articles being written and interviews I have had on the subject."

In Korea, the ecological movements have had a mixed reception. With the Four River Project, the ever increasing number of golf courses, loss of wetlands,  pollution of air, water and food, the environmentalists have had to contend with powerful economic interests, but the environmental movements and their goal of better stewardship  of the earth are no doubt here to stay. May the efforts continue.

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