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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES - Faith leaders representing 17 different religious traditions and 112 congregations from 44 communities spoke out Thursday on their shared belief in a moral obligation to address global climate change.
'It's an area of consensus among faith groups,” said Dr. Gerald Sorokin of the Louis Shulman Hillel Foundation at the University of Iowa, one of four speakers at an Iowa Interfaith Power & Light news conference in advance of Earth Day April 22.
Catholic Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Rev. Zuiko Redding, pastor of the Cedar Rapids Zen Center, and Rev. Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell of Second Reformed Church in Pella spoke of the shared faith tradition of caring for the Earth and neighbor and how global climate change affects both.
Earth is on fire, Pates said, and Catholics have a moral obligation to take action. It's also a justice issue because unless action is taken, he said, the most vulnerable members of society will be hurt most.
Humans naturally seek to be nurturing, said Redding, 'and when the earth becomes sick, we become sick.”
People's relationship with nature should reflect God's relationship with humanity - caring and protecting, Mathonnet-VanderWell said. 'I should treat creation the way God treats me.”
Given the moral obligation and what's at stake, Sorokin said global climate change 'is a task we all carry with us” regardless of faith tradition.
For more information, visit www.interfaithpowerandlight.org/