Ecumenical Group Concurs About Spiritual Desert

Urges Fostering a Mentality of Stewardship

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ESZTERGOM, Hungary, FEB. 24, 2009 ( Christians of many confessions are united in affirming that the ecological crisis is itself a reflection of a deeper spiritual crisis.

This was one of the conclusions from the meeting of the Joint Committee of the Conference of European Churches and the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe, which was held last Thursday through Sunday in Hungary. The committee considered the issue of creation as the main point on its agenda this year.

«In the discussion, the committee noted that the ecological crisis is itself a reflection of a deeper spiritual crisis,» a final statement reported. «There was shared agreement on the words of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI that the external deserts in the world are growing because the internal deserts have become so vast.»

The Christian leaders recognized that human beings need to come to see themselves as stewards, not exploiters, of creation.

«A concern for effective stewardship of creation is closely linked with a concern for justice in our world,» they contended. «[The] members recognized that as Europeans we need to share a sense of solidarity with the poorest in the world, who are the primary victims of our lack of responsibility toward creation.»

The Christian leaders resolved to use the time from Sept. 1 to Oct. 4 as especially dedicated to «contemplate, care for and celebrate God’s goodness in creation.»

Finally, it recognized that churches throughout Europe need to play their part in influencing the U.N. Climate Conference to take place in Copenhagen this December.

The next session of the committee will be held in March 2010 and focus on migration.

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