Eco Catholic: St. Francis was the champion of the destitute but also the patron saint of ecology, and the pope might invoke that part of his namesake's legacy.
The Vatican confirmed Friday that Pope Francis has begun a draft of an encyclical focusing on the environment.
"The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the document was still very much in its early stages and that no publication date has been set. He said it would be about ecology and more specifically the 'ecology of man.'"
Cremation is forbidden in traditional Islam and Judaism but accepted by most other religions. It is also the fastest-growing way Americans choose to deal with their bodies after death.
But does it hurt the environment?
Eco Catholic: Green burials draw upon faith and a commitment to the environment and are a way to care for the Earth even after death.
Late Thursday, members of the Global Alliance for Rights of Nature left Otavalo and boarded two buses headed to Quito for the summit’s final event – the historic opening of the World Tribunal on Rights of Nature.
In Guatemala, I am a guest of the Hermanas de la Sagrada Familia (Sisters of the Holy Family). They are a sister community to my Loretto community. These are great Guatemalan women, tracing their community roots to Belgium, and they now have sisters in Africa. (Yes, Mary Ann McGivern is a Loretto friend and NCR blogger, as well!)
At the Global Rights of Nature summit, Vandana Shiva, an internationally renowned physicist and environmental activist, led the ritual Thursday on our last morning in Otavalo, sharing some of India’s poems and hymns to Mother Earth. One began, “Whatever, I dig of you, O Earth, may that grow quickly upon you.”
Lucky me. I am in Guatemala for a series of meetings between my community, Loretto, and Sagrada Familia here. Thursday we traveled to La Puya, a mine about an hour outside of Guatemala City. The local villagers have been encamped there for 22 months, prepared to block mining equipment from digging wells and starting operations. Earth studies show that gold and possibly uranium lie under the earth.
The sun warmed our faces as again we began the third day of the Global Rights of Nature summit with a morning ceremony, led by Tom Goldtooth (Dine’ and Dakota) and Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca), expressing gratitude to Mother Earth for the life that animates and sustains us.
The Sufi practice of “adab” means reverence for all things, including objects and animals.
Reverence, my friend Fred Brussat of Spiritualityandpractice.com argues, is an even more important value than compassion. Wow, what a rivalry.