Across the Universe: Global warning
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  This column first ran in The Tablet in February 2015 My travels started in Boston, hit by a record number of massive snowstorms this winter; yet another blizzard trapped me inside the convention hotel all weekend. During a lull between storms, I was able to catch a flight to California… where the occasional flooding downpour failed to put an end to a five year drought. Climate is not the same as weather, but weather certainly reflects climate. And our climate is in serious trouble. It’s not just the anecdotal bad storm; it’s the sustained change in weather patterns – five years of drought, for example – that is finally getting our attention. One of the most common questions I get asked (just behind baptizing extraterrestrials!) deals with climate change. I give the same answer everywhere; the reaction I get varies wildly with the venue, however. Most of my questioners have already made up their mind that global climate change … Continue reading

When the Heavens and Earth Were Sacred: Recapturing a Sacramental Worldview.
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As we continue our election cycle in the United States, there is a phrase I hear from time to time that always gives me a moment of pause: The Politics of the Environment.  This sentiment is often accompanied by numerous arguments, pro and con, about different legislative matters pertaining to ecology, both locally and nationally.  At one level, this question of environmental politics is understandable, given that ecology has become a “line in the sand” for candidates on both sides of the political isle.  However, from the perspective of a Catholic Priest, I always cringe when the environment is reduced to such rhetoric.  The reason for this discomfort is that Catholic theology views creation first through sacramental eyes before we focus on how this gift should be used (or not used) to build up human dignity.  This piece will explore the sacramental worldview of the Church in the hopes of giving clarity on how Catholicism views creation. The start of Catholicism’s sacramental worldview is … Continue reading