Environment

Climate Change

Climate Change and Catholic Health Care: A Matter of Faith, Hope and Charity

Pope Benedict XVI and the U.S. Catholic Bishops accept the scientific consensus that climate change is upon us, that prudence calls us to act now to faithfully care for Creation and avoid more severe consequences in the future, and warn that its adverse impacts will likely fall heaviest on the poor at home and abroad. As Catholic health care providers, climate change is a moral concern and our faith demands prudent action to reduce our carbon footprint, care for "the least of these" (Mt 25) and raise our voice on behalf of Creation and the poor.

Specifically, the escalating problem of global warming is an issue for Catholic health care because:

  • We are people of faith and believe "the earth is the Lord's and all it holds." (Ps 24:1)
  • We understand there is substantial body of scientific knowledge showing "warming of the climate is unequivocal." (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007)
  • As health providers, we are concerned that "many diseases will surge as the atmosphere heats up." (Scientific American, August 2000), and that burden of caring for people will be born, in part, by the Catholic health ministry.
  • We can help reduce our own carbon footprint because "as one of the largest users of energy, hospitals are major contributors to climate change." (Global Health and Safety Initiative, 2008)

In order to live out our commitments to care for and protect 'both the human and the natural environment,' CHA is a member of the Catholic Climate Covenant, which promotes the St. Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor.

In addition, the Catholic Health Association — in cooperation with Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), Denver; Covenant Health Systems, Lexington, Mass.; and Trinity Health, Novi, Mich., — completed a one-year ministry-wide initiative to raise awareness about global climate change. Learn more about this project, Faithfully Healing the Earth.


On-Demand PowerPoints for Use in Associate Education

CHA, funded through a grant by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change (CCCC) and the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, has developed five on-demand educational modules that are short and to the point for use in Catholic health care. Developed in collaboration with Practice Greenhealth and the CCCC, the topics and leaders narrating each include:


Climate Resources


Climate Webinar Recordings

Jan. 27, 2016 — Nursing Care and Laudato Si': Climate Change and Nursing Response
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View the Webinar Recording
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Feb. 23, 2015 — Climate Change: An Issue of Concern to the Church, Pope Francis and Catholic Health Care
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Watch in the CHA Knowledge Center

Oct. 4, 2011 — Climate Change: Health Impact and Catholic Mission
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Jan. 21, 2010 — Healthy Food in Health Care
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Oct. 8, 2009 — Energy and Catholic Health Care
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Three educational and inspirational video reflections and companion resources highlighting the themes of Laudato Si'

Everything is Connected

As Pope Francis wrote in Laudato Si’, St. Francis of Assisi saw all creation as part of one family of God. Whether Christian, Jew or Muslim, whether human, beast, plant or element—all creatures were brothers and sisters to him and all are loved by God. In this brief video, Pope Francis’ basic message – that EVERYTHING is connected, is highlighted.
Watch the video, with Pope Francis’ Prayer for Care of Creation at the end (approx. 6 minutes)
Watch the video minus the closing prayer (less than 4 minutes)

Addressing Climate Change

In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis makes a moral and scientific argument for recognizing and taking action on climate change. This video highlights portions of his case while also highlighting Catholic health care’s response to reduce our contribution to the problem of climate change.
Watch the video, with Pope Francis’ Prayer for Care of Creation at the end (approx. 6 minutes)
Watch the video minus the closing prayer  (less than 4 minutes)

Less is More

Pope Francis has often used the term “throwaway culture” to refer to humanity’s wasteful practices and poor management of our natural resources. In this video, better management of shared natural resources is highlighted, and specifically, water resources.
Watch the video, with Pope Francis’ Prayer for Care of Creation at the end (approx. 6 minutes)
Watch the video minus the closing prayer (less than 4 minutes)

Companion Resources

Climate Change and Health: Is There A Role For The Health Care Sector?

CHA, funded through a grant by the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change and the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, and in collaboration with Health Care Without Harm, offers this article as a tool for continuing discussions and informationsharing about climate change.

Download Climate Change and Health: Is There A Role For The Health Care Sector?

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Connecting Health Care With Public & Environmental Health

With our members, CHA is working to raise the issue of environmental stewardship as a mission–based clinical and public policy imperative. We act as responsible stewards of God's creation as we respond as a ministry to building healthier communities.

Download Connecting Health Care With Public & Environmental Health

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