A series of post-Autumn Plenary 2022 resolutions focussing on environmental matters.
The Bishops’ Conference urges all Catholics to refresh their weekly observance of Friday abstinence by refraining from eating meat on that day. In this way we dedicate to God the pressing need for us all to live more simply. A recent study at Cambridge University published research suggesting that this penitential act has a considerable impact on lessening carbon emissions by 55,000 tonnes each year. This is equivalent to 82,000 people taking return flights to New York from London. In abstaining from meat on Fridays, we also act in solidarity with those who face hunger and poverty every day, with the care of creation by recognising the environmental impact of meat production and in memory of the death of Christ, by which our broken relationships with each other and with God’s creation are healed.
The Bishops’ Conference asks dioceses of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to declare target dates for a stated reduction of carbon emissions or report on how close they are to having the information necessary to set such a target. These may be informed by the current research undertaken by the project Guardians of Creation. The bishops will report on the progress of the dioceses at the Easter season and November Plenary Assemblies in 2023.
The Bishops’ Conference commends the LiveSimply Award as a response to Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si’ to “work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us”. Recognising that some schools and parishes may already have similar projects on-going, the bishops encourage all remaining schools and parishes to consider signing up to this award as a sign of their solidarity with the poor and their desire to live in harmony with God’s creation.
The Bishops’ Conference asks that Dr Carmody Grey be invited to present to the Bishops on the environment and the responsibilities it brings on leaders in faith.