photo found here, text author unknown & added by thishawksnest

Today is the second Blog Action Day I've participated in, and the focus is water.

We live in an area known for good running water, next to a freshwater lake (ever hear of the Great Lakes? We got one), where I always enjoy a warm/hot shower, can run the dishwasher, and still spend money on bottled water that is, frankly, taken from Lake Michigan for pennies and then sold for a great deal more. But ever since I heard Pope John Paul II speak out against the privatization of water back in 2004, I've been sensitive to the issue. Since then, I've generally wasted less water: turning off the faucet when I'm not directly using water, flushing only when needed (esp. considering what pregnancy does to a good night's sleep), not watering the lawn, etc. I've especially found documentaries like Blue Gold: World Water Wars extremely helpful in understanding the impact of both human pollution and struggles for monopolies and power. 

I find it interesting that environment and faith matters seem so opposed to each other in popular mindset. So for Blog Action Day 2010, here's a brief highlight from what many might presume to be an unlikely source...

MARCH 3, 2004 excerpts taken from (Zenit.org

Water is a "gift of God" and a "right of all," John Paul II said in a message to Brazil's bishops for the 2004 Fraternity Campaign. [The Pope] clarifies that "insofar as a gift of God, water is a vital instrument, indispensable for survival and, moreover, a right of all."

"Water is not an unlimited resource," he wrote. "Its rational and solidaristic use calls for the collaboration of all people of good will with the proper governmental authorities to effectively protect the environment, considered as a gift of God."

"Therefore, it is a question that must be resolved by establishing moral criteria necessarily based on the value of life and respect for the rights and the dignity of all human beings," the Holy Father emphasized.

Auxiliary Bishop Odilo Pedro Scherer of São Paulo explained that water resources in Brazil run the risk of being contaminated "even in areas where one would say this is impossible, as in Amazonia, where on many occasions chemical products have contaminated immense rivers."

"Moreover, we are concerned by the privatization of water, as in many parts of Brazil and the world, water obeys the laws of the market," he explained on Vatican Radio.

MARCH 22, 2007 excerpts taken from (Zenit.org
Benedict XVI has called water an "inalienable right" in a message marking the U.N. World Water Day, celebrated each March 22.

A message sent on behalf of the Pope by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, recalls that there is a "shared responsibility" in managing this precious resource, "enabling access by all, especially those living in conditions of poverty."

The message stated that this is "a moral and political imperative in a world that has levels of knowledge and technology capable of ending a scarcity of water."

The papal message continues: "We are all called to modify our way of life in an educational effort capable of returning the worth and respect merited by this common resource for humanity. . . .We are faced with a socioeconomic, environmental and moral challenge that concerns not only institutions, but society itself."

Thanks for taking the time to read it!


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