The Fellowship of Life
I wish to commend both the Bishops' Conference in advancing The Call
of Creation and Deborah Jones of the Catholic Study Circle for Animal
welfare, for raising an important aspect of its perception amongst many
The publication recently received much favourable coverage throughout
the Christian press. One particular and stark comment, however, from an
Anglican cleric, would epitomise a flaw which is so often characteristic
of the Christian response to 'green' issues: "It seems some people's
version of Matthew 28:19 reads 'Go into all the world and save the
planet's resources, recycling them in the name of..."
At the other end of the rhetorical spectrum, a Christian vegetarian
author once posited: "True, there is no 'Thou shalt not eat meat' in the
Bible but neither is there a 'Thou shalt not smoke crack cocaine' ."
A contemporary Christian will draw his or her own Biblical
conclusions, usually from specific scriptures, wider themes and their
inevitable consequences. As a vegetarian, I'm inclined to regard the
slaughterhouse as a self-evident falling short of core spiritual values;
pertaining to Love, Mercy and Peace.
I am unable to envisage a 21st century, western incarnation of Jesus
Christ, as having any less humanitarian awareness towards animal lives,
than say, Paul McCartney, without disrespect intended to either.
Fellow Christians will differ and concur. At the very least it is
fair to present the ethical vegetarian case as a modern ascetic
The Call of Creation is certainly a welcome, illuminating and
essential contribution to ongoing Christian thought on the state and
future of the planet. It is also heartening to receive an affirmation of
the value of creation, in itself and for its own sake.
At the same time, there will remain a due sense of pity, for
countless innocents who continue to die miserably; beyond the riches and
implications of Catholic spiritual proclamation.
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