April 10, 2005
College of Cardinals
Re: The Selection of a Pope
I suppose that the selection of a pope will have religious and political motives. I would like to beg of you a third consideration: ecological. It seems to me that the Church has been making the same mistake as the rest of humanity: focusing on humankind, to the exclusion and detriment or the rest of the natural world. It is fitting to have concern for the welfare of people, but it is shortsighted, if not downright immoral, to ignore the welfare of the other species with whom we share this fragile world.
We humans are 100% dependent upon the welfare of the other species ("wildlife"). We ignore their plight at our peril. We may appear to be fine without the dodo and the passenger pigeon, but are we really -- physically, as well as spiritually? And how many species can we afford to let slip over the abyss, before we follow them into extinction -- to say nothing of losing our soul?
You oppose birth control, as well as abortion. You have your reasons, but do those reasons take into consideration the impacts of the overpopulation and domination of the Earth by one single, overly-arrogant species? I believe that the saving of human souls pales in comparison with the far more urgent saving of 4 billion years of natural heritage.
You have a much bigger problem than the continuance of the Catholic Church: the continuance of the human species and the other species upon which we depend. You cannot afford to continue to be silent on this subject. Please choose a pope who understands this.
Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.