St. Jerome Catholic Church, Chicago, IL
For all the talk about environmental issues and « global warming » coming out of the Vatican (especially toady in the Apostolic Exhortation « Laudate Deum »), why is there no discussion of a return to the practice of our forefathers that will actually make a difference to souls and to the environment?
The original nature of animals is seen in Genesis 1:29-30 where animals, as created by God, were companions of man before the Fall. As early as Genesis 3:21 we see the utilitarian use of animals begin. For instance, animal skin was used by God for clothing for men and women. Before the Fall, animals, both carnivorous and omnivorous, were in good relationship with man and were obedient to him. This relationship changed after the Fall, in which animals began to act violently towards man out of fear of him (cf. Genesis 9:2-3). Despite this, mankind was tasked with caring for Creation and still has this responsibility.
In addition to the myriad of physical and spiritual benefits of fasting, the practice of both fasting and abstinence has a positive contribution to the environment and God’s creation. One of the positive side effects of having all Catholics return to robust abstinence would be a reduction of carbon emissions, as a study by the University of Cambridge explains:
“In 2011, The Catholic bishops of England and Wales called on congregations to return to meat-free Fridays. Just a quarter of the 5 million Catholics in England and Wales changed their dietary habits – yet this still saved over 55,000 tonnes of carbon a year, the researchers found. This is equivalent to 82,000 fewer return flights from London to New York over the course of a year.
“Around the world, 1.3 billion people identify as Catholic. A papal decree would reinstate the obligation to follow meatless Fridays across the entire global church, saving millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases. National bishop conferences could also reintroduce the requirement. ‘For instance, even if only the United States Catholic bishops were to follow suit, the benefits would likely be 20 times larger than in the UK,’ the study’s authors write.”
Let us start sending in letters suggesting this very change to our pastors and bishops to help encourage this necessary return to Tradition.