April 6, 2016
By Sister Bethany Fitzgerald
What does religion have to say to science?
Pope Francis tells us that religion has much to say to the scientist as well as acknowledging that the scientist has much to teach us about the marvels of Creation.
In Laudato Si (#4) he quotes Pope Paul VI who stressed “the urgent need for a radical change in the conduct of humanity,” as “the most extraordinary scientific advances, the most amazing technical abilities, the most astonishing economic growth, unless they are accompanied by authentic social and moral progress, will definitely turn against man.”
Dr. Curt Stager, Paul Smith’s College professor of natural resource management and ecology and author of Deep Future, agrees.
About Catholic teachings on care for the environment
Last April he invited Catholic Climate Ambassador, Dr. Gerry Gacioch to speak at Paul Smith’s College annual Science, Art and Music Festival. Since then, they have given presentations together in the Rochester area.
Even before Laudato Si was issued he gave presentations at St. Peter’s Church in Plattsburgh and at the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse in Watertown on challenge of our Christian faith to care for creation.
You may be wondering “What are Catholic Climate Ambassadors and what is their mission?”
They were established in 2006 by the Catholic Climate Covenant, five years after the U.S. Catholic Bishops had written the letter “Global Climate Change, A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good.”
Their mission is to deliver Catholic teachings on the environment. They are people well-versed in the long history of Catholic social teachings about ecology. In addition, they bring to this role a wealth of individual experiences from their professional backgrounds.
When Dr. Gacioch, who has been an ambassador for nearly ten years was asked about his experiences, he responded, “Most of the first years have been debating with climate change skeptics. Folks come away (many times for the first time) knowing that the Catholic Church has been HUGE on stewardship of Creation forever!
Dr. Gacioch and Dr. Stager will be speaking to the challenge of caring for “our common home ”in light of Laudato Si in Canton April 23 at noon at Neveldine North Hall, Room102, SUNY Canton. On April 24, Dr. Gacioch will be speaking on this same topic at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Gym, 320 West Lynde St., Watertown, from 9:15 a.m. to 11.
ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT