“There’s no justice, there’s just us.” That barely-relevant slogan once graced the side of a building I had to pass by frequently and it came to my mind as I pondered the latest time-wasting venture from Australia’s failing hierarchy: prayers for the end of fossil fuels.
Who on earth comes up with these ideas? Most likely it was a couple of highly-paid professional Catholic women who met at a Laudato Si’ conference.
“Hey Karen, let’s have a multi-faith service at the Cathedral (Perth – no surprises there) to ask God to stop approvals for new coal and gas projects and for an end to public subsidies for fossil fuel industries.”
“Susie, that is a fantastic idea. Spirit is really moving today, isn’t She? Let’s do some chanting, congregational singing, meditation and prayers from a range of traditions. We’ll get Hermione from the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change to organise everything and we can be welcoming to people of all faiths and none.”
“But Karen, what if our supporters don’t live in Perth?”
“No problem, Susie – we’ll hold similar events all across Australia and the Pacific in a day of action showing grassroots endorsement of the climate action open letter already sent to the PM. Supporters can hold prayer, meditation and fasting vigils throughout the night. We’ll also remind everyone about the Vatican’s Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty!”
“Awesome, Karen. But what about those pesky trad climate-deniers who are sure to make a fuss about us not using the Church for something …. you know …. Catholic?”
“Easy-peasy, Susie. We’ll be sure to arrange it for an important Marian feast day to teach them a little lesson about priorities.”
“Right. They’re always talking about hell – don’t they know that in just a few short millenia, the temperature will have crept up another 1.5 degrees, which is literally hell on earth?!”
You get it. They don’t. More than ever, penance is needed on behalf of Holy Mother Church.