Catholic Teachings

Tips For Reducing Your Impact

Travel Lightly

If your destination is close, consider walking or biking instead of driving. Every mile you travel with foot power instead of petrol power saves one pound of carbon.

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U.S. Bishops

“At its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family.”

-U.S. Bishops

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops–Current News

On July 30, the Chairs of the Domestic and International Committees of the U.S. Catholic bishops, Archbishop Wenski and Bishop Pates, respectively, voiced support for a national standard limiting carbon pollution from power plants in a letter to the EPA. The bishops urged national leaders to act on climate change and to prioritize the well-being of the poor. They closed their letter by saying, We welcome the EPA’s proposal of a national standard to reduce significantly carbon pollution and call upon our leaders in government and industry to act responsibly, justly and rapidly to implement such a standard. 

On May 29, Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging that the new carbon pollution rules on existing power plants should protect the health and welfare of all people, especially children, the elderly, as well as poor and vulnerable communities from harmful pollution emitted from power plants and from the impacts of climate changeRead more here.

Statements on Climate Change

Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good
In this 2001 statement on global climate change the U.S. Bishops declare that our response to questions and challenges surrounding this issue is an opportunity for national discussion and action. Read the statement: English | Spanish The Bishops statement can be ordered here.

The Bishops’ statement  is also contained in a resource book, Faithful Stewards of God’s Creation, A Catholic Resource for Environmental Justice and Climate Change.  It contains additional information Catholics can use to better understand the important connections between our faith and the environment, and the urgency of addressing the moral and human dimensions of climate change. The book includes a CD for electronic viewing, printing and distribution at parish gatherings.

Faithful Stewards of God’s Creation
U.S. Bishops’ website on Environmental Justice with teachings, reports on what Catholics are doing around the country, prayer resources, public policy backgrounders. and more. Visit the site

One-Page Flyer on Climate Change from USCCB

This resource is an excellent handout for school, parish, or other group events. Provides an overview of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ position on the issue of climate change and why action and advocacy are called for:  The Catholic Church brings a distinct perspective to the debate about climate change by lifting up the moral dimensions of this issue and the needs of the most vulnerable among us. Download and print the flyer here.


Statements by Bishops Around the Country

August 2014

On August 13, at the Ecological Society of America’s annual gathering, Bishop Jaime Soto of the Diocese of Sacremento offered a stirring talk outlining the intimate links between the Catholic faith, our natural world, and cosmological cycles. Although he acknowledged that advanced technology has done wonders for human thriving in many ways, Bishop Soto wondered, “Have we become strangers to the planetary home that whirls around the sun as part of the galactic symphony God has orchestrated for his glory and our well-being?” Read the full statement here.

October 2010

On Oct. 4,  the Feast of St. Francis, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles officially launched the Creation Sustainability Ministry which is assisting efforts in each of the five pastoral regions to integrate care of Creation in a diocese of 4.3 million Catholics.  Cardinal Roger Mahony‘s letter urged parishoners not to remain indifferent to “environmental issues and their profound impact on humanity” and encouraged all to “take the St. Francis Pledge.”
Read more here.

April 2010

Bishop William Skylstad, Bishop of Spokane and Chairman of the Catholic Climate Covenant initiative, offered an inspirational speech to students and faculty at Gonzaga University.  In his talk, “Facing the Wind-What are the Signs?,” he reflects on human stewardship of God’s Creation and weaves together his personal stories with messages from the U.S. bishops and recent popes, including Pope Benedict who, Challenges us to become more aware of our carbon footprint and who is under it.  See the article from Gonzaga University.

January 2010

Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando (and former Chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Policy) wrote to the Catholic people in his diocese stating that Pope Benedict’s World Day of Peace Message, “adds a needed perspective in the debate over climate change and in light of the uncertain conclusions of the recent Copenhagen Climate Conference…. In many poorer nations, years of relief and development work are being undone by prolonged droughts, more intense storms and other extreme weather conditions associated with climate change.”  Read the whole article here.

November 2009

The Alaska Conference of Catholic Bishops sent letters to Senators of Alaska citing Pope Benedict’s explicit call for the Church to take responsibility for creation and to assert this “responsibility in the public sphere” (Deus Caritas Est, #51). The bishops say, “Climate change presents the United States with an opportunity to act with courage and compassion as individuals, as people of faith, as a nation…no strategy to confront a rapidly warming climate will succeed without the leadership and participation of industrial nations, particularly that of the United States of America.”  Read the entire letter.

June 2009

Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay endorses the Catholic Climate Covenant. His letter states that “you have inspired our own social concerns office and many of our parishes to lead our local efforts on this important issue.”  Read the entire statement here.

April 2009

Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton endorsed the Catholic Climate Covenant. See the statement and the list of prayer and actions the diocese has “taken to address global warming and its effects on our disadvantaged communities.” Click here to view his entire statement. (PDF)

March 2009

Archbishop Henry Mansell of Hartford endorsed the Catholic Climate Covenant. The Archdiocese will “foster continued engagement on this serious issue that has profound implications for humanity, but most especially for the poor and vulnerable.” See his letter here.

Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk of Cincinnati endorsed the Catholic Climate Covenant and has “authorized the creation of a Climate Change Task Force” comprised of “staff and volunteers from across the Archdiocess [who] will strategize on how we can live out the five elements of the pledge.”  View his entire statement.

February 2009

Bishop Sam Jacobs of Houma-Thibodaux endorses the Catholic Climate Covenant because “scientific and public discourse have converged in making climate change both an urgent practical concern and a moral imperative for Catholics in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.” Click here to view his entire statement (PDF).

October 2000

Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Sante Fe, Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces, and Bishop Donald Pelotte of Gallup signed the “Interfaith Religious Leaders’ Statement on Climate Change.” We believe human induced climate change has begun and continues to accelerate destructive forces that:  Violates God’s creation…  Accelerated global warming is leading to species extinction, destruction of viable habitat, inundation of low-lying land by rising seas and increasing weather extremes that threaten the delicate web of life.” Includes a list of concrete steps we all may take individually and collectively. Read the entire statement here.