Catholics Add Pollution to List of Sins - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Catholics Add Pollution to List of Sins

by Noelle Walker

With time, more and more world leaders are signing on to the environmental movement.

And now, it's becoming a cornerstone message for religion.
It used to be, someone throwing trash on the street was known as a litterbug. 

These days that same person might be called a sinner.

George Wesolek with the San Francisco Catholic Archdiocese said, "Environmental degradation is a problem and it has to do with choices people make and that has something to do with sin."

In the past week, Catholicism became the latest religion to take environmental consciousness to the pulpit.

Leaders in the Vatican have added littering and environmental apathy to its list of modern evils.

"It's not just individual sins that we're talking about.  We're also talking about the sense of a social sin and this is bigger.  It's a lot of individuals contributing towards social sin," said Wesolek.

Environmentalism is not a new message for religion. 

Episcopal reverend Sally Bingham has led the San Francisco-based group, "National Interfaith Power and Light" for seven years.

In addition to helping churches convert to solar and other clean energy, she's delivered a steady message of green morality.

Bingham said, "If they're sitting in the pews and professing a love for God, those are the people that should be protecting god's creation."

Bingham says the faithful have a moral obligation to solve global warming since poor nations are often the most impacted.

"For Christians it's an important message because Jesus said that what you do to the least of us you do to me.  Now that translates into a perfect mandate for protecting creation," said Bingham.

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