On Wednesday, February 27, 2008, the students who are a part of Newman Center Catholic Student Minsitry on campus lead Chapel Hour and addressed the idea of Believe Green as understood through Catholic Social Teaching. Here is a summary:
The theme of “Believe Green” (Sustainability) is addressed within the Catholic Church’s Social Teaching. We, as Catholics, desire to be sustainable because of our relationship with God and with the other people that God gave us to share the earth with. Therefore the themes apply to the human beings relationship with each other as well as with the earth. The themes are as follows. First is the Life and Dignity of the Human Person- centered in the principle that all human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. Second is the Call to Family, Community, and Participation- recognizing that the person is not only sacred but also social and that people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all. Third is Rights and Responsibilities- stressing that every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency, as well as the duties and responsibilities that make this possible for all fellow human beings. Fourth is the option for the Poor and Vulnerable- emphasizing the social responsibility to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable before our own. Fifth is the Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers- based in the principle that work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected as well. Sixth is Solidarity- the core of which is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul VI taught that “if you want peace, work for justice”. Seventh is Care for God’s Creation- recognizing that God gave us the gift of the earth and with that, the responsibility to care for it. We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation, and we are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. We recognize that we are a part of an universal family with God and each other and therefore all of these themes are necessary as they relate to one another.