If green Catholics follow your editorial advice (June 23) and turn
to their parishes as a place to express their concern for the state
of the world, it will be most likely as missionaries.
Catholics show no sign of being less than averagely addicted to
consumerism. The majority of the clergy are steeped in a human-centred
(as opposed to God-centred) view of the world. They are unable to
give us parishioners a lead on the moral status of a tree, a farm
animal or the ozone layer, other than Aquinas's now outdated idea
that they have no moral status and have no basis for being valued
for themselves, but are merely useful economic resources for humans.
Christianity is a God-centred view of life. From the stories of
creation in Genesis to the fourth Gospel, God creates, loves and
redeems the whole of creation.
In contrast, the Church always uses the Genesis stories
selectively and human-centredly to illustrate the relationships of
God, humans and the rest of creation.
When my vegetarian friends ask me why we take so seriously the
Genesis mission to be masters of all living animals but completely
ignore the Divine command to be vegetarian, I have no answer other
than we have lost our way. Imagine the reaction of the average
congregation to that command, or of a parish priest asked to preach
Dr. R.A. Hamilton