To the Catholic Sentinel:

It is interesting that William Purcell of Lebanon and Ingrid Newkirk from Washington, D. C., look at the same reality but come to two different conclusions about the role of creation in God’ s plan. While Purcell seems to take the traditional Thomistic stance that Scripture supports a position where creation only has meaning in relationship to humans, Newkirk reflects a theological perspective that more correctly acknowledges a vital question that was never asked by theologians of previous eras: namely, what is creation’s meaning to God independent of human beings?

In the world of today, such a question takes on an urgency that was not experienced in previous generations, given the fact that human activities have impacted the globe in such significant and catastrophic ways. I believe that a dialogue on this question needs to continue and the fruits of these theological reflections need to be communicated to the Catholic in the pew. The stance that St. Francis, the patron of ecology, ate meat so it is acceptable for 21st Century humans to do so, should no longer be justification for this activity. In this Year of Faith, adult faith formation sessions should include education on the role of the “ rest” of creation in God’s plan.

This  role will come to fruition when “ ... everything is subjected to him[Christ], then the Son himself will [also] be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.” (1 Cor. 15: 28).

Jerilyn Felton, Portland