March 20, 2012

Soup and Substance Lenten Programme (4): Let’s Live Lent!

Mercy International Association held its fourth gathering of the Soup and Substance Lenten programme on 15th March 2012. Tanya Jones, a member of the Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network spoke to the group about the process of hydrofracking and its effects on the earth; risks and real dangers associated with hydrofracking; the response of the local communities and the responsibility on us all to act to curb the abuses of the extractive industries.

You are invited to view the video of Tanya’s presentation on Hydrofracking—Should we be concerned?

The group was invited to reflect on the issue of hydrofracking through the lens of scripture and Catholic Social Teaching. Specific texts and themes highlighted include:                                 

Deuteronomy 15:4 - ‘But there are to be no poor among you, for in the land that Yahweh, your God, is giving to you as your inheritance, Yahweh will bless you richly – but only if you obey Yahweh, your God, in all things and conscientiously observe all the commandments I have given you this day.’

Principles from Catholic Social Teaching:
• Commitment to the Common Good of all people, acknowledging that the good of each one of us depends on the well-being of all;
• Respect for the Universal Destination of the Goods of the Earth, rejecting all attempts to unjustly dominate, excessively consume, limit or commercialise those God-given goods upon which every person depends for existence;
• Distributive Justice, ensuring that those who least pollute such as the poor and powerless are not those most affected by the consequences of the environmental crisis;
• Intergenerational Justice, acting now on the basis of prudence and precaution for the sake of the very existence of future generations.

In the midst of the presentation, there was acknowledgement that many in the Mercy World are already advocating against hydrofracking in various geographical locations. See pages 4-8 for the feature article in the November-December 2011 edition of Viva Mercy! published by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, that talks about this advocacy in Peru, Philippines, USA, and at the United Nations. Tanya urged that this advocacy be continued and expanded. Another resource provided for ideas on possible actions is this website. Participants were specifically encouraged to:

a) Write to local politicians expressing their concerns; and
b) Raise the issue with Christian communities and ensure a Christian response to this issue.

Messages to: Mary Purcell - Assistant Director Mercy Global Action

 (l-r) Tanya Jones with Catherine Gibbons rsm, MGA Intern

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