Jul 23, 2019
by Brian Roewe
OMAHA, NEB. — During an advocacy-focused breakout session at last month's "Laudato Si' and the U.S. Catholic Church" conference, a room of 30 Catholics were asked to list organizations and people within the church they perceived as engaged on the issue of climate change.
Almost every corner of the church — colleges, hospitals, women religious, Pope Francis, aid organizations, even bishops' conferences of other countries — was represented in the 20 or so groups named.
But not the U.S. bishops.
Instead, they were relegated to a second list: those with the potential to become more engaged.
In the classroom at Creighton University was San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy, who sat at a student desk and listened. For most of the three days, McElroy was a regular participant in the conference co-sponsored by Catholic Climate Covenant and Creighton. He joined small-group discussions, sat in the audience during presentations and shared meals at a campus cafeteria.