Laudato Si Working Group offers ‘Return to Nature Webinar’ and reports on Minister Ryan’s meeting

4 Apr, 2024 | Bishops, Church, News, Pope, World

Following the decision of the Irish Bishops’ Conference in 2023, that parishes would return 30% of church grounds to nature by 2030 in response to the biodiversity crisis our world, a recording of a ‘Return to Nature Webinar’ is available as a helpful resource.

The recording involves Kate Chandler of the National Biodiversity Data Centre and Barry O’Loughlin, Clare County Council Biodiversity Officer.  Please see this link:     The password is: biodiversity

At their Spring 2024 General Meeting in Maynooth, bishops were advised that the Laudato Si’ Working Group (LSWG) led by Bishop Martin Hayes (pictured), Coordinator for Laudato Si’ of the Bishops’ Conference, held an online meeting with Mr Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Environment, Climate Action, Communications and Transport, on 16 February last.  The purpose of the meeting was to identify how local faith groups can help address environmental issues and work together with State agencies on a clear path to ensure a healthy and safe world.  The meeting was constructive and Minister Ryan was presented with the distinctive contribution of faith-communities and the spiritual and moral frameworks they offer in caring for the integrity of creation.

The LSWG highlighted the commitment of the Irish Bishops to restoring 30% of church grounds to nature by 2030, and requested access to grants for parish groups as well as the support of Climate Action/Biodiversity Officers to faith communities.  Minister Ryan responded positively to the 30% initiative, and acknowledged that the Church has a key role in promoting climate justice and referenced both of Pope Francis’ publications of Laudato Si’ and Laudate Deum in this regard.

Minister Ryan praised the generous roles of Trócaire and the Irish missionary tradition, and spoke of possibilities for Church and State collaboration on climate issues.  He emphasised the importance of transition to clean energy, the plight of poorer countries who cannot yet afford that transition, and of his hopes for progress at COP29 in Brazil on climate finance in order to undo injustice done, in particular, to vulnerable countries in Africa.



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