Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday 4 July 2021
Please pray for:
Jim Christian, Anne Knowles and all the sick of our parish.
Caroline Saw, James Hilton, Mary Wearden, Bridget Raleigh, Ernest Stoker, Stephen Davies, Anthony McGrath, Josie Eccleston, Brian Townley, Baby Grace Malory, Catherine Hulse and Leonzio Onek.
Total Numbers at Mass on weekend 26/27 June: 70
Pope Francis’s Prayer Intention for July.
As we move from lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions we hear a lot of people speak of the ‘new normal’ (I myself have used that expression many times over the last fifteen months, both publically and in private.) while others want to return to how things exactly were before all this. Will the ‘old normal’ ever be the same? How will the ‘new normal’ look? Either way, it is now clear that we all have some ‘rebuilding’ to do, in our personal lives, our families, our work, our finances, our world and above all in our parish. In ‘rebuilding we all have to strive for and create a ‘better normal.’
Pope Francis’s challenge for this month is to look for areas of crisis and conflict either locally or globally and think how we can approach those areas in a spirit of friendship and dialogue. We all imagine that we work very hard, but when it comes to making a mark on the world (our own particular part of the world) perhaps we are all a little bit lazy. Our lives cannot just be about providing for our families. As Christians, as Catholics we have to look to the common good. This month we are all asked to join in Pope Francis’s prayer intention.
We pray that, in situations of crisis and conflict, we may all be courageous architects of dialogue and friendship. May the Church receive from the Holy Spirit the grace and strength to reform herself in the light of the Gospel. Amen.
Some Quotes for the Week.
“I see this time as a reckoning. I think of what Jesus tells Peter in Luke 22:23, that the devil wants him to be sifted like wheat. To enter into crisis is to be sifted. Your categories and ways of thinking get shaken up; your priorities and lifestyles are challenged. You cross a threshold, either by your own choice or by necessity, because there are crises, like the one we are going through, that you can’t avoid.”
“The question is whether you’re going to come through this crisis and if so, how. The basic rule of a crisis is that you don’t come out of it the same. If you get through it, you come out better or worse, but never the same.”
“In the trials of life, you reveal your own heart: how solid it is, how merciful, how big or small. Normal times are like formal social situations: you never have to reveal yourself. You smile, you say the right things, and you come through unscathed, without having to show who you really are. But when you are in a crisis, it’s the opposite. You have to choose. And in making your choice you reveal your heart.”
These three quotes are taken from the book” Let Us Dream, the path to a better future” by Pope Francis. Published 2020
LANCASTER DIOCESAN FAITH AND JUSTICE COMMISSION:
from Lancaster Faith & Justice Commission email@example.com
Most 16 year olds now leave school with a good understanding of climate change and the mechanisms which cause it. Many adults have had to find their own information on the subject, from a variety of sources which are not always unbiased..
What is climate change ? “Natural” temperature changes have happened over millions of years connected to ice ages, desertification and violent earthquakes and volcanic activity. These events have slowly altered atmospheric and ocean temperatures, and influenced the formation, development and/or destruction of a number of species on earth. But recent warming of the climate is being driven by human activities like burning fossil fuels. These release greenhouse gasses which trap energy from the sun and warm the earth. This process is accepted as fact by the United Nations and the UK Government.
Prior to industrialisation, our fuels consisted of wood and other plant remains which had grown only a few years (relatively) before they were burned. The effect of this on the atmosphere was negligible because it barely affected the natural decay processes that continually recycle carbon from the biosphere to the atmosphere.
As a result of rapid industrialisation over a couple of centuries, humanity is putting back into the atmosphere a significant amount of the carbon which was slowly locked away over half a billion years.
How will climate change affect us all, especially people living in poverty? Climate change effects are well documented. An increase in atmospheric temperatures leads to an increase in ocean temperatures, the melting of polar ice, sea levels beginning to rise by several metres, a rise in ground level temperatures, ocean acidification, desertification, crop failure, the decimation of wildlife, ecosystem failure (such as coral reefs and rainforest), so called “freak” weather events, food scarcity, and the eventual displacement of many millions of humans from extensive areas of the planet rendered less viable for growing food or for human habitation – human migration on a grand scale.
Climate change is already affecting us in the UK. Impacts include more intense heat waves and heavier rain which in turn affect health and agriculture and change flood risk.
But it hits the poorest hardest, multiplying hunger, migration and conflict. If you already live on the edge, extreme weather events can push you over into ruin. With no financial or social safety net, a flood that destroys your home can leave you completely destitute.
The countries most vulnerable to natural disasters and a changing climate are also Least Developed Countries (LDCs). It is deeply unfair since these countries have done the least to cause climate change.
Enough. Together as Catholics, we can turn the tide. We can call our politicians to go further and faster with emission cuts. We can treat our common home with respect and choose to live sustainably.
Why do we need to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C?
We know that to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we must limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C (above pre-industrial levels). Already we are seeing some of the devastating effects of a temperature rise of just below 1°C. Communities in the Pacific islands are on the front lines of climate change. Many are being forced to adapt to ever-changing and dangerous weather conditions or flee their lands.
What progress have we already made? We have made huge progress on climate change. Scientists know more than they ever have. We also have technology our parents couldn’t imagine.
The Paris Agreement In 2015 at the COP21 meeting, 195 countries signed a ground-breaking deal called the Paris Agreement. This agreement was a turning point for action on climate change. It commits countries to limit temperature increase to well below 2°C, and ideally 1.5°C. The Agreement states that we need to reach net-zero emissions by the second half of this century, on the basis of equality, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.
UK Climate Change Act The UK was the first country to legally respond to the threat of climate change. The Climate Change Act is a pioneering piece of legislation brought into force 13 years ago in 2008, and it commits the UK to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. At the time it was ground-breaking. We now know if we are going to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C we need to be going much further, faster.
The heating process is already advance and for example, when we boil a kettle, and switch it “off”, we are only removing the energy which drives the heating of the water. The water continues to bubble, and the water and the kettle both remain hot for some time. Similarly, by reducing carbon emissions we slow down (but do not immediately stop) the rate of global heating. Oceans will act as a storage heater, and will take a very long time to cool. Many argue that the target of net zero by 2050 is dangerously unambitious and action must be taken much sooner.
Is limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C possible? Within living memory, the use of CFCs in aerosols was ended by global agreement. Now is our time to say ‘enough’ to climate change.
But we know it isn’t going to be easy. To limit global temperature rise we need to be going much further and faster than we are currently going. It will take everyone: we need change from businesses, in lifestyle, in transport and in government policy.
However, we are not alone in this fight. Standing alongside us is a global Catholic community of people with power and of faith demanding change. Together we can create a world of cleaner water, fresher air, safer homes for all of us to share and enjoy.
What are the links with our faith? God reveals himself to us in nature. The world is a gift from God and its future is intimately bound up with our own lives and choices.
We have also been inspired by Pope Francis’ letter on the environment Laudato Si’. It complements what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says – that our responsibility as good stewards of creation is to care for our world and not ‘steal’ resources from future generations.
In Laudato Si’ Pope Francis speaks openly about the devastating effects of climate change on people and the planet. He says that climate change is real, urgent and it must be tackled. He also describes the climate as “a common good, belonging to all and meant for all”. He calls us to an ecological conversion and invites us to praise God for the gifts of creation.
Cafod’s campaign is calling on the government to make sure that it sets a net zero emissions target by 2045. Doing so would show strong international leadership and send a signal to countries, businesses and civil society that we need to be going further and faster with our emissions reductions. Net zero emissions is achieving a balance of emissions so that we only produce the same amount of greenhouse gases that we take in. This gives us the best chance of keeping the temperature at below 1.5°C.
What difference will the UK efforts make? It is true that no single country’s emission reductions will make a difference on its own. It’s only if every nation agrees to limit polluting greenhouse gases emissions that can we achieve the cuts we need on a global scale.
However, the UK plays a large role:
The UK is responsible for significant historical emissions and about 2 per cent of the current world’s man-made carbon dioxide emissions.
The UK also plays a large role in global climate leadership, raising ambition levels at international decision-making levels, as well as in meetings such as UN Security Council and the G7. In 2008, the UK showed leadership by introducing the Climate Change Act. It became the first country in the world to introduce legally binding targets, and other countries followed suit. By introducing a net zero target the UK can send a message to other countries that they should too.
How will we benefit from net zero emissions? A net zero emissions target, fully implemented, will cut energy bills by improving the efficiency of our homes and businesses. It will get rid of the exhaust pipe emissions that pollute the air we breathe. It will also help to bring about the restoration of our natural habitats, so they become stores of carbon, from forests to peatlands. We can have a greener Britain with cleaner air – and by making a clean break from harmful emissions, we’ll be sending a signal to our friends and allies around the world that Britain is shouldering our responsibility and leading the fight against climate change.
How can I cut my own emissions? There are many ways you can reduce your individual carbon footprint, whether it’s through cutting down on your energy consumption, for example installing insulation, switching to a green energy provider, or making sure you turn off your lights when you leave the house. Or through your chosen mode of transport, by committing to one car-free day a week, having a ‘staycation’ rather than flying abroad, or taking up cycling. Whichever way you decide to tackle climate change, remember small actions can have big impacts, not only on the environment, but on the welfare of our brothers and sisters across the globe. Here are some other ideas.
1. Reduce your book-print and join a library instead of buying books. This will also protect our libraries.
2. Invest in a washing line; tumble dryers devour electricity
3. Use a fountain pen rather than disposable plastic pens
4. Get yourself a reusable coffee cup or reusable water bottles to reduce your waste plastic. Some sources give profits to charity, and they come in some lovely designs!
5. Give your garden a good breakfast; coffee grounds and eggshells are ideal for composting. A compost heap reduces the waste your send to landfill sites, and helps your plants grow!
6. Clean the back of your fridge. Dusty coils can increase energy consumption by 30%.
7. Give a colleague a lift to work, or a neighbour a lift to the supermarket. If no-one is going your way, join on a carshare scheme to find a passenger.
8. Instead of using face wipes, try using washable wipes of cleansing soap.
9. Make your own green cleaning products and avoid harmful chemicals—the secret is lemon juice, vinegar, and baking soda.
10. Donate your leftover paint to a community project; Britons fail to use 6.2m litres of the paint they buy each year.
Resources available from
- COP26 -Short introduction powerpoint http://www.lancasterfaithandjustice.co.uk/download/environmental-issues-celebrating-creation/cop26-resources/COP26%20SHORT%20INTRODUCTION%201.pptx
- Video reflection highlighting the teachings of world religions on climate and environment.
- Liturgy COP 26: http://www.lancasterfaithandjustice.co.uk/download/environmental-issues-celebrating-creation/cop26-resources/COP26%20liturgy.docx
- CAFOD action ideas at: https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Climate
- CAFOD briefing papers at Climate change and integral ecology
- The Global Catholic Climate Movement has resources and action ideas and opportunities to join in prayer: https://catholicclimatemovement.global/
- The Ecological Conversion Group https://theecg.org/ has excellent resources.
Including “On Care for Our Common Home: looking at life through the lens of Laudato Si’ -Sixth Form Syllabus https://theecg.org/resources/6-form-syllabus/
The newsletter can be downloaded at: https://tinyurl.com/mmj7sy77