October 4, 2018
“We are called to care for the environment”
Washington’s Catholic Bishops Offer Framework for Considering Environmental Policies

Working to promote greater care for the environment, the Catholic Bishops of Washington State have released a statement on “Catholic Principles and Environmental Policy.”  Released on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the environment, the statement draws upon the consistent teaching on environmental issues shared by leaders of the Catholic Church from Blessed Pope Paul VI to St. John Paul II to Pope Francis.
The Bishops highlight in their statement that Washington voters will consider Initiative 1631, the carbon emissions fee measure titled “the Clean Air Clean Energy Initiative,” in the upcoming election.  They offer the following points for all to consider before voting:
  • All efforts to reduce the impact of climate change should respect human life and dignity, especially that of the poorest and most vulnerable among us.
  • In accord with their human dignity, local communities – especially low-income residents whose voice is often not heard – should have a voice in shaping the efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Workers should be supported in dealing with negative effects resulting from a shift away from fossil fuels by receiving assistance to mitigate impacts on their livelihoods and families.
These principles offer a framework for voters to consider with all environmental policies.  “We are called both to care for the environment, and to be thoughtful about how proposed public policies will impact those living in poverty,” stated the Bishops.  Additionally, the Bishops encourage each person to be personally accountable and seek effective ways in their personal lives, and in businesses and industries, to promote the common good and to care for God’s creation. 
The Catholic Bishops of Washington State are Archbishop J. Peter Sartain and Auxiliary Bishops Eusebio Elizondo and Daniel Mueggenborg of Seattle, Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane, and Bishop Joseph Tyson of Yakima.
The full statement is linked here and is also available at WACatholics.org.
The WSCC is the public policy voice of the Catholic Bishops of Washington.
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For more information, contact: Tim Hunt, Washington State Catholic Conference  206-301-0556