Page 7, 28th June 2002

28th June 2002
Page 7
Page 7, 28th June 2002 — Saving the planet From Mr Richard Ashton Sir, Deborah Jones

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Saving the planet From Mr Richard Ashton Sir, Deborah Jones

is a little too keen to have the Church fall into line with the environmental movement. Certainly, there is much to agree with in her list of ecological problems. The Book of Genesis tells us that creation is a gift from God, and we must care for it and answer to H,im for it.

However, she gets her focus and proportion seriously wrong. From the Catholic viewpoint, abortion, euthanasia and genetic engineering are real, clear and grave evils. It simply cannot be claimed that her main concerns fall into the same category.

Would she have us believe it is a sin to buy unrecycled stationery? Is it beyond any doubt that GMOs cannot help feed the hungry? Are we really sure whether developing economies can be helped more by the imposition of tariffs than by free trade? Have we solid evidence that debt relief does not merely strengthen the very regimes that caused the initial problem? Or are these questions upon which men of good will, Catholic and others alike, can honestly disagree? Ms Jones is surely right to remind us, as do the Pope and the Patriarch, that we need to take better care of our world, to the glory of God and the better to care for one another. But if concern for the environment is not seen as part of a much greater scheme, Catholics can find themselves in very dubious company. We do not need environmentalism, we need good stewardship.

Yours truly, RICHARD ASHTON, Maidstone Kent ME14 1EX

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