I have decided I am really not a fan of The Catholic Herald under its present regime, which veers between the conservative and the reactionary. This week it has excelled itself, with an article seeming to castigate Catholics who belong to green organisations.
The heading Green ideology ‘as deadly as Communism’ announces a discussion of the new booklet by Russell Sparkes: "Global Warming: How Should we Respond?" I have it on order, but a chat with someone who has read it carefully informs me that its tone and content broadly encourage Catholics to work for the responsible stewardship of the planet.
What the Herald's journalist has decided to do however is to pick up on Mr Sparkes's condemnation of a few easy targets - extremists within the green lobby, for example those who argue in favour of abortion as a means of limiting population growth. But aren't there always extremists in every broad coalition? And, goodness knows, don't we need to form such a coalition if we are to stir Government into action to combat climate change?
The article mischievously states that the booklet is published by the bishops of England and Wales: this is nonsense. It is published by the dear old CTS. As their Sales & Marketing Manager has confirmed to me by email, it is a privately published booklet.
Many Catholics are members of the long-established ecumenical charity, Christian Ecology Link. This was started by a small group of Christians, Catholics included, who came together at an Ecology Party conference (in Malvern - 1981 was the year), primarily for the purpose of prayer. We were concerned that there was a lack of Christian spirit within a political party that had set out to be different. So, the twin aims were developed, of "Christianising" the party, and encouraging the churches to which we each belonged to develop a care for God's creation.