Columban podcasts on biodiversity- Episode 4: ‘Nonviolence for the Earth’

Columbans have come to believe that violence done to the Earth itself is a part of war, whether through habitat destruction, the extraction of resources for weapons, or the murder of environmental defenders. We see all too frequently how many international and national laws that are designed to protect fragile ecosystems and human rights are disregarded when they get in the way of military growth and profit-making. As people of faith, we have a responsibility to practice nonviolence. We can do this by choosing to live simply and sustainably, by preventing conflicts before they become violent, and by advocating against the rapid expansion of militarism around the world. We need this not only to save human life, but to save all life on Earth.

‘Jubilee for the Earth’ is a podcast mini-series about biodiversity, produced by the Missionary Society of St. Columban for the Season of Creation. The third podcast features Irish Columban Liam O’Callaghan, JPIC national coordinator in southern Hyderabad Diocese, who has served in Pakistan for two decades. “I tried to highlight biodiversity and interfaith dialogue, noting that 40 percent of marine species have disappeared from the polluted sea off Karachi because of waste dumping and the discharge of untreated industrial sewage,” he says. He has sent invitations to the 15 parishes of Hyderabad to sign up for the podcasts and more than 1,500 people have done so. Fr O’Callaghan says. “The call to wonder at the beauty of creation, and in doing so give praise to God, is at the heart of most of the world’s religions and spiritualities.”

The Columbans are a Society of priests and lay people who live and share the good news of the Gospel by working in 16 countries with those who are poor and exploited, and they include care of the natural world. Over the course of six episodes, the series explores the beauty of biodiversity and the threats it faces. It is hearing from Columbans around the world who are working to renew the face of the Earth. Grounded in Catholic Social Teaching, the Columbans hope that these podcasts will help a growth in understanding of how caring for “our common home”, as Pope Francis calls it, is fundamental to our lives as people of faith and as global citizens.

The episodes are being released throughout the 2020 Season of Creation (September 1 – October 4). Called ‘Jubilee for the Earth: Biodiversity & Our Sacred Story,’ each of the six episodes will explore biodiversity and a related issue like economic justice, peace, migration, and other topics related to Catholic Social Teaching.

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