Urges Catholics to come together to fight climate change
CEDAR RAPIDS – Mount Mercy University’s Presidential Lecture Series was established in 2009 to highlight issues of value to the institution and its founders, the Sisters of Mercy. This year, the university welcomed writer and advocate Marybeth Lorbiecki, director of the Interfaith Ocean Ethics Campaign, on Thursday, Feb. 4. Lorbiecki spoke to the community during her presentation “Mercy and Our Common Home.” An expert in the life and work of conservationist Aldo Leopold and the environmental writings of Pope John Paul II, Lorbiecki discussed issues of global environmental concern and the relationship between mercy and care for the earth, our common home. “We have much to do,” Lorbiecki said during her talk. “How many Catholics are there in the world? If just 10 percent stood up and changed things, or stood up vocally, do you not think we could take on climate change? Climate change is not bigger than us. God put us all in relationships—that’s what we’re here for. We must fight this together.” As director of IOEC, Lorbiecki has spoken at the United Nations and worked with the Holy See, Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, and the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, as well as advisers to Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the 14th Dalai Lama. Lorbiecki graduated from St. Catherine University with a background in theology and earned a master’s in literature and writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Awarded an International Rotarian Scholarship, she pursued post-graduate work in philosophy at the University of Essex, England.