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On April 8, 2016, members of the Eco-Justice Unit of the diocese: the Reverend Margaret Marquardt (chair), the Reverend Expedito Farinas (rector, St. Mary the Virgin, South Hill) and Pat McSherry of St. James’ attend the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver’s Symposium: Mineral Resource Development in the Context of the Encyclical Laudato Si’. Laudato Si’ is Pope Francis’s reflection on the care of creation and our responsibility to provide that care.  

This symposium on mineral resource development was presented in collaboration with some other Roman Catholic organizations and was aimed at fostering respectful and ongoing dialogue among concerned stakeholders, and helping to better understand the problems mining companies face, while at the same time ensuring that mining operations take full account of the common good.  

Guest speaker was Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, who set the context of the symposium through his address on the Encyclical Laudato Si’. The symposium also featured presentations from expert panels which included: concerned climate scientists, representatives from First Nations, mining companies, NGOs and shareholders.    

The Reverend’s Marquardt and Farinas are serving on the Eco-Justice Working Group on the Practices of  Canadian Mining Companies which has been following the diocesan Synod motion of 2013 regarding diocesan investments of Canadian Mining Companies (many of which have their headquarters in Vancouver). The Working Group is also attending to issues of ecology and human rights.

Particularly of interest to the Working Group was the speech from Peter Chapman executive director of Shareholders Association for Research and Education (SHARE) which helps organizations to look at their investments particularly for religious communities.  

PHOTO: The Reverend Margaret Marquardt, Pat McSherry, the Reverend Expedito Farinas outside the Roman Catholic Archdiocesan offices in Vancouver: Photo: Courtesy of Margaret Marquardt.

Article written with files from Margaret Marquardt