As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, we must question our care for one another and consider those suffering most, the Bishop of Salford has said.
Bishop John Arnold, the lead Bishop on the Environment for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW), insisted that everyone has a role to play in caring for the environment.
Commenting on the ‘ecological conversion’, which Pope Francis has called for, Bishop Arnold said it “makes us see the general harmony, the correlation of everything: everything is connected, everything is related”.
Pope Francis has “done us a great favour by saying that everything is connected, and he’s done that in his encyclicals all the way through,” Bishop Arnold told Vatican News.
“Everybody and everything is connected and when we do something in one place it has repercussions in so many other different spheres of our society.”
As well as causing great difficulties for many people, he said the pandemic “has placed before us some very important questions about our care for one another, our priorities as we emerge from the pandemic.”
He pointed out that those suffering most in the pandemic are people in the poorest nations.
“We’ve got to be much more aware of them and their poverty and their need for basic care; healthcare,” he said.
The bishop also spoke of younger people’s views on the environment, saying the reaction of schools, particularly primary schools, has been very positive and encouraging.
“Every school I go into seems to be very much aware of the environment; very much enthused about it, not in sense of all getting very scared about damage but actually being educated in a very positive way about how we must care for creation,” he said.
“It’s quite extraordinary, you know, seven-and eight-year-olds being really quite articulate about these things and enjoying the subject.”
Recalling the publication of the pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’: On the Care for Our Common Home five years ago, Bishop Arnold said the document had shown the Holy Father to be a “global voice” on the issue.
Picture: Bishop John Arnold. (Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk).