Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletOctober 20, 2019

Earth Concerns News

Earth Charter, Principle 9 by Sister Betsy Van Deusen, CSJ

Eradicating Poverty


Throughout this past year we have examined the Principles of the Earth Charter in light of our Acts of Chapter. As we conclude or gather with our forums, we continue to examine and deepen our experience of the Acts of Chapter. We are also approaching Election Day which requires our awareness of Catholic Social Teaching and discernment concerning how the candidates honor that which we hold dear. Let us reflect on the ninth principle of the Earth Charter and use it as the setting for our discernment.

AEradicate poverty as an ethical, social and environmental imperative.@ Among the issues articulated within this principle are potable water, clean air, food security, shelter and allocation of national and international resources. Deepening Communion with Creation challenges us to protect Earth=s resources by becoming aware of our own complicity and make radical choices to preserve Earth and her resources for future generations. Deepening Communion with the Dear Neighbor challenges us to examine the dignity of the human person and advocate for systemic change to correct the disparities that exist. In addition to this international call and our chapter call, the U.S. Bishops in their document, Faithful Citizenship, have put forth the clear mandate to judge those persons running for office on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

It seems to me, that many people and organizations are aligning for the good of Earth. When we give action to that intention and spirit, we will, in fact, make change for the better in our world. I have not yet participated in forum this fall, but I look forward so much Ato going deeper@ with my sisters as we continue to deepen communion with one another as we place the other communions in dialogue. Sometimes I can get caught in the AIt=s so big, I can=t do anything@ loop. I expect our reflection on this principle and our sharing at forum will help me to recognize what I am doing and also to recommit to do one more little thing to eradicate poverty, heal our Earth and journey more closely with the dear neighbor.


(October 2008)