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April 4, 2005

The Next Pope Must Be Green

Sincerest condolences for the passing of Pope John Paul II.

We believe that at this critical juncture the Catholic Church must consider a new direction, helping to lead the way in the repair of our earth. Global warming is a religious crisis, species extinction is a religious crisis, ecosystem loss is a religious crisis, and yes, overpopulation is a religious crisis.

For 2000 years the Catholic Church, which now represents over 1 billion people, has been immersed in the problems of the human race and its relationship with God. It has paid little attention to the other forms of life which dwell on our planet. The Church must become less anthropocentric, it must protect creation in all its forms.

If the next Pope is not chosen with the above concerns in mind, and fails to acknowledge and address these crises, the Vatican will have failed the human race, and all other forms of life which are struggling to survive on a planet dominated by a single, often destructive species.

Religions have as much work to do in understanding our environmental problems as environmentalists do in understanding the religious impulse. The next stage of religion must be environmental as the next stage of environmentalism must be religious. It is encouraging to see Christian Evangelicals in the United States engage in a genuine effort to make creation care a priority. We hope the Vatican, and the next Pope, use their moral authority to do the same.

Anthony F. Gantner
Save Our Ecosystems