United Methodists, Catholics Discuss Climate

Mirror Copenhagen Summit With Christian Perspective

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WASHINGTON, D.C., DEC. 23, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Representatives from the U.S. bishops’ conference and the United Methodist Church gathered last week to discuss issues related to the environment.

A bishops’ conference press release reported today that this meeting took place at the same time as the U.N. summit on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The meeting between the church representatives was the third of its kind, focused on the Christian responsibility of caring for God’s creation from a Eucharistic perspective.

In the communiqué, Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, Washington, co-chair of the dialogue, affirmed that this topic is an opportunity for Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Christians to “witness together in solidarity and common responsibility.”

Another co-chair, United Methodist Bishop Timothy Whitaker, affirmed that the “beautiful natural world is a loving gift from God.” He affirmed that the call to discipleship with Jesus involves “social holiness.”

“Through social holiness, we make ourselves channels of God’s blessing to the world — a blessing that extends to the renewal of all creation,” the Methodist leader said. 

Participants in the dialogue plan to write a final statement regarding the “covenantal relationship that exists between Christian worshipers and the natural environment.”

The meeting was held Dec. 15-17 at St. Paul’s College in Washington D.C. The next session is planned for the same location next June.

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