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Protecting common good is part of Catholic teaching

Letter to the Editor

08/07/2020 | Comments

We would like to reply to David M. Reyhons’ letter in the May 15 issue disputing our view that we are now immersed in two environmental crises at once — a health crisis due to the novel coronavirus and a climate crisis due, in large part, to humans, with the latter likely a much greater, long-term problem. 

We particularly take exception to Mr. Reyhons’ statements accusing us of being “anti-Catholic” and “un-American” and promoting an idea “ . . . that comes straight from the philosophy of atheistic communism.”  In fact, we only suggest ways to effect change that have been called for by both the vast majority of climate scientists and the Catholic Church (e.g., popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops). 

In presenting his views, Mr. Reyhons references the Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2425, but forgets to mention that all “isms” (totalitarianism, atheism, communism, socialism, and capitalism) are rejected by the Catholic Church in whole or in part because of their deficiencies. CCC 2425 further says that “. . . reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.” 

We thank Mr. Reyhons in calling our attention to CCC 2425 and its statement that protecting the “common good” is a valued Catholic teaching. What more important common good is there than the climate that we all depend upon for our existence here on earth?

— Signed by members of the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Commission of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration:

Sheila Castellano

Jerry Gioglio

Anne Lyons

Larry Reisinger         

Judith Ann Schaeffer O.S.F.

Dorothy Schlaeger O.S.F.

Carmela Trujillo O.S.F.

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