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Sunday, February 26, 2017
Bishop James Jones addresses Vatican climate change conference
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¬†Speaking at a Vatican sponsored conference on the subject of 'Climate Change and Development' the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, on Saturday said that the destruction of the planet is a 'blasphemy'. During an address on the subject of 'Climate Change and Ecumenical Collaboration' he said: "To say that creation is there for us to take advantage of is in the end to dethrone Christ "through whom and for whom all things came into being". Putting ourselves in the place of Christ is a blasphemy and leads to the desecration of creation itself. This is indeed what we are witnessing through the ravages of climate change. Destroying the planet through the destabilising of the climate is not just bad stewardship, is not just a crime against humanity, it is to undo God's creative and sustaining work in and through Christ. That is a blasphemy." The Bishop went on to use the example of the St Francis of Assisi Academy, Liverpool, to show how education can change hearts and minds with regard to the environment. The Academy, which is jointly sponsored by the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool, is the first to have taken the environment as its specialism. Bishop James said: "This school is already transforming the lives of its students ≠ and its teachers! It has been open now for just under two years and its academic results have been remarkable. I wish I had time to tell you the many stories of transformation that have taken place as these young people have begun to learn in an atmosphere that is truly connected with its local environment. It should not surprise us but a community that learns in a place connected with the earth and with light is bound to be a place where people flourish better than in a shabby building poorly designed and badly lit that cuts people off from the natural world. The environment is the expression of its Christian ethos and runs through every subject on the curriculum." Bishop James spoke of Operation Eden, an ecumenical and interfaith Project based on Merseyside and working for the transformation of the local environment. He said: "In the North West of England the faith communities are strongest in areas of greatest deprivation. Using leaders and buildings of local faith communities we are engaging local people in raising environmental awareness and in changing lifestyles that take seriously the challenges of climate change. Projects range from energy audits to turning neglected green spaces into allotments and gardens where food can be grown." Bishop James also spoke of his visits to schools in the Merseyside region, and of the Carbon Fast adopted by the Diocese of Liverpool during Lent this year, by which people were encouraged to take positive action to reduce their carbon footprint rather than giving up a luxury. Among the delegates present for the Address was the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool. Source: Archdiocese of Liverpool
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