Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Going Green for God

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Going Green for God

Article excerpt

A "defender of the faith" has gone green. Recent reports of Queen Elizabeth II and her family embracing a more sustainable lifestyle have captured the imagination of some and the cynicism of others. The queen is known for greeting commoners on her famous "walkabouts" both in her homeland and in other countries she visits, her recent visit to the United States included. Elizabeth II recently has become conscious of the "carbon footprint" she and the royal entourage create. A longtime friend to the environment, Prince Charles, her son and heir to the throne, must be very proud of his mum these days.

What about another defender of the faith, Pope Benedict XVI? Certainly his carbon footprint is not nearly as destructive as that of his globe-trotting predecessor, John Paul II. Nonetheless, as head of the church and No. 1 citizen of Vatican City, Benedict certainly is in a position to set a good example for the rest of the Catholic world. Has he toned down the lights in St. Peter's Basilica, or does he unplug the papal computer in his Vatican apartment every evening?

I don't know. But if Benedict is interested in going green, there are some excellent role models within Catholicism's long tradition to follow. Well before the Queen of England, former U.S. Vice President and An Inconvenient Truth star Al Gore, eco-theologian Thomas Berry, and many other people of note went green, religious sisters who staffed the myriad of Catholic grammar schools across this country were already practicing many aspects of a sustainable lifestyle. …

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