Catholic environment leader visits UK

 Bishop Chris Toohey - a world leader in Catholic awareness and action on the environment - is visiting the UK this month. His visit culminates in the launch of 'Sound of Many Waters' at Clifton Cathedral in Bristol on Saturday, September 29. 'Sound of Many Waters' is series of events run by the Cathedral parish community and supported by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. It explores the need to care for our environment drawing upon Catholic teachings, insights and networks. Mary Colwell, a parishioner at Clifton Cathedral and producer at the Bristol-based BBC Natural History Unit is the inspiration behind 'Sound of Many Waters' and has organised Bishop Toohey's tour. She said: "In Australia, Bishop Chris works alongside politicians, scientists, environmental groups and a wide range of other communities to help promote environmental responsibility, adding a spiritual dimension to what is a huge social and political challenge. "Bishop Chris is a passionate and engaging speaker. His concern is grounded in theological reflection. His visit will be a wonderful opportunity to share his experiences of bringing together Catholicism and the environmental movement. "Bishop Chris will lead a discussion in the House of Commons, meet with staff at Catholic aid agency CAFOD, as well as speak at public events and visit schools." Bishop Toohey will talk with Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh; Archbishop Mario Conti, of Glasgow; Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool; Dr Jonathan Sacks the Chief Rabbi; and the Anglican bishops Richard Chartres of London and James Jones of Liverpool. There will also be visits to the Benedictine communities at Downside and Ampleforth as well as a public event in St Marie's Cathedral in the Hallam Diocese. Only a few days ago, Pope Benedict XVI said: "In dialogue with Christians of various churches, we need to commit ourselves to caring for the created world, without squandering its resources, and sharing them in a cooperative way." Bishop Chris Toohey said: "It's a great honour to be invited to make a contribution to Church in the UK's exploration of the environmental situation we face. We're all part of the human family and if any insight and some of the learning we've experienced here can be shared, it will be fantastic." Most Reverend Chris Toohey is Bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes, Australia. Born in Sydney in 1952 he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Sydney in 1982 after working for several years as a shipping agent on Sydney's waterfront. He was ordained Bishop on August, 30th 2001. From 1990 to 1992 he completed post graduate studies at the Gregorian University in Rome, specialising in fundamental theology. His thesis dealt with the humanity of Christ in the writings of John Henry Newman. The Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes covers the western half of New South Wales and is almost the same area as France. It covers the "Outback" and includes a large aboriginal population. Bishop Toohey said: "Environmentally, the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is fascinating. It includes Australia's largest river system - the Murray Darling Basin. At the moment we are in the grip of drought, which people here tell me is unprecedented." In 2002, as part of the response of the Australian bishops to Pope John Paul II's call for an "ecological conversion", he was elected Chair of the newly established Catholic Earthcare Australia. For more information see ICN's Listings page or visit:

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