Catholic Earthcare Australia falls under the Bishops Commission for Social Justice – Mission & Service.
Catholic Earthcare Australia is an ecological agency established
by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Its mission is to help promote
understanding among people that creation is sacred and endangered, and must be
protected and preserved for present and future generations yet unborn.
To play its part in helping protect the health of Earth, and its
inhabitants, Catholic Earthcare Australia is mandated, through the activities
of education, research and advocacy to give leadership in responding to Pope
John Paul II’s call to “stimulate and sustain the ecological
On the 17 January 2001 from the Vatican, the Pope in an eco
spiritual audit of planet Earth stated that, “it is immediately evident
that humanity has disappointed divine expectations. Above all in our times, man
has unhesitatingly destroyed wooded valleys and plains, polluted waters,
deformed the natural habitat, made the air unbreathable, disturbed atmospheric
and hydro-geological systems, rendered green areas desert and engaged in
uncontrolled industrialisation … humiliating that flower garden that is the
Earth, our home”.
The Pope in calling for “a commitment to avoid ecological
catastrophe” emphasised that “it is necessary, therefore to stimulate
and sustain the ecological conversion”. The Australian Catholic Bishops
have responded to this challenge with faith and determination.
Catholic Earthcare Australia invites all people of good faith to
journey with it and work on the urgent and critical tasks of safeguarding the
integrity of creation, protecting Earth’s fragile ecosystems and providing a
voice for communities and victims of environmental degradation, injustice and
Catholic Earthcare was incorporated into Caritas Australia in
2018 to create synergies between agencies that service the ‘cry of the poor’
and ‘cry of the earth’.
As Chair of the Caritas National Council Bishop Christopher
Saunders, Bishop of Broome, is also responsible also for Catholic
The activities and functions of Catholic Earthcare Australia are overseen by a reference group. We are bound by the Terms of Reference; the most recent Terms of Reference (November 2019) can be found here.
Our reference group membership consists of: Mary McDonald SGS (Chair), Sue Martin, Trish Hindmarsh, Chris Carlile, Beth Riolo SGS, Anne Jennings, Bernard Holland (ex officio), Clare Vernon (casual membership – youth).