By Matthew Lau
Bernard Holland of Catholic Earthcare has last week made his first visit to Perth since his appointment as Director of the environment-focused organisation.
Mr Holland met Bishop Donald Sproxton, Caritas Board member John Bouffler, numerous Catholic educators, and the Caritas Diocesan Directors (from Bunbury, Geraldton, and Darwin) during his stay from 21 to 23 November.
“The important thing is to get out there as a face and let them know how they can be supported,” he told The eRecord.
He said Laudato si’, Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, is the key resource in working together to preserve Mother Earth.
“The people who are in higher authority are the gatekeepers. We will start at the top and see how we can engage each diocese together.
“The ultimate goal here is to have action around Laudato si’ closer to a compliance than a fad, because the consequences are just too serious; not only for the Church but for the wider community in general.”
His purpose for visiting various dioceses throughout Australia, he said, is to link people and inspire action by telling stories of success.
No diocese has all the pieces of the puzzle yet, Mr Holland added, but many are setting themselves up structurally to achieve long-term success.
Laudato si’ tells us that: “The cry of the poor will be inextricably linked to that of the Earth”, he stated.
In thinking about the vulnerable low-lying populations around the world: “They get the worst land. It’s the land that people with money happen to avoid and the land that the poor have no choice with”.
“Laudato si’ brings the two issues together in a sublime communion,” Mr Holland concluded.
For more information about Catholic Earthcare Australia, go to: catholicearthcare.org.au