Fr. Benedict Kiely: With Burning Concern

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By Fr. Benedict Kiely, Crisis Magazine, January 28, 2020

Fr. Benedict Kiely is a contributing editor to Crisis and the magazine’s Middle-Eastern correspondent. He’s the founder of, a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to relieving the persecution of Christians in the Mideast. He is incardinated in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Fr. Benedict KielyRecently the nonagenarian environmentalist, Sir David Attenborough, familiar to viewers of BBC America over many years for his nature shows, warned in bloodcurdling terms that it was almost too late to save the world from the horrors of the “climate crisis.” I remember as a child watching similar warnings during the early 1970s, of the perils the world would face by the millennium. Apparently, due to the population explosion, there would be mass starvation, wars, and revolutions because there were just too many people in the world. All that was missing was the plague of locusts.

Whether the “climate emergency” is quite as serious as Sir David warns is a matter for logical argument and empirical evidence; it is certainly a matter of debate and not dogma, despite the fact that many who doubt the extreme warnings are now treated as scientific heretics. There is, however, a real and existential crisis facing the Christians of the Middle East. It needs—as Jan Figel, the former European Union Religious Freedom Envoy, has said—a “climate change on religious freedom.”  …

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