Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (WSJ): If life is sacred, so is the entire web that sustains it

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week, 200 leaders in the environmental movement gathered in New Orleans for the eighth ecological symposium organized by the Orthodox Christian Church. Participants included leading scientists and theologians, politicians and policy makers, business leaders and NGOs, environmentalists and journalists. Similar conferences have taken place on the Adriatic, Aegean, Baltic, and Black Seas, the Danube and Amazon Rivers, and the Arctic Ocean. This time we sailed the mighty Mississippi to consider its profound impact on the U.S. and its fate within the global environment.

It may seem out of character for a sacred institution to convene a conference on so secular an issue. After all, Jesus counseled us to "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" (Mark 12:17). Climate change, pollution and the exploitation of our natural resources are commonly seen as the domain not of priests but rather of politicians, scientists, technocrats or interest groups organized by concerned citizens. What does preserving the planet have to do with saving the soul?

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2 Comments
Posted October 26, 2009 at 12:48 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. magnolia wrote:

thanks so very much for posting this.

October 26, 4:16 pm | [comment link]
2. evan miller wrote:

Sounds like something that would come out of 815.  I would even question his assertion that all life is sacred.  Human life certainly is, but I’d draw the line there.  Other life has value and deserves respect, but sacred?  I think not.

October 27, 12:21 pm | [comment link]
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