Alberta Bishop decries the Athabasca Oil Sands

January 29 – Environmental groups have a friend in Luc Bouchard, Bishop of St. Paul in Alberta, who wrote a long and heavily researched letter outlining his view of the “ecological crisis” facing northern Alberta’s oilsands region.
“As the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Paul in north-eastern Alberta,” he writes, “it is my responsibility to provide moral advice and leadership on questions that affect the faithful who live in my diocese. It is therefore impossible for me to ignore the moral problem created by the proposed one hundred and fifty billion dollars oil sands developments in the Municipality of Wood Buffalo because these projects are in “my own backyard,” and have aroused strong ethical criticism. In this pastoral letter I will consider this extraordinary and controversial industrial development from a Catholic perspective.”
Read the full letter here.
There is a growing recognition among faith groups around the world, that the ecological crisis facing humanity is a moral issue. It is therefore one that they can no longer ignore. For more information on environmentally active faith groups and inititives, see:

2 Comments
  1. F. Los

    I notice you confine your comments to the relevance or irrelevance of Christian leaders’ point of view on this topic – that’s some very arguable points you make, but I don’t really think they are on topic.
    Are you also implying that the oil sands industry is not a cause for concern for Alberta and Albertans right now?…let alone the larger negative effects of fossil fuel use worldwide?
    Do you have any comment regarding that?

  2. human being 14

    The Oil Sands Morality Crusade of several Canadian church leaders is risible. Some comment is required, if only to point out the soaring wooly-headedness of this plucky little posse of priests.
    Mercifully, media coverage has been scant, due perhaps to embarrassment for these Christian gentlemen, their sheer irrelevance, or editorial decisions that minimal ink be splashed out on an idea so high on the nuttiness scale that even on a good day Alberta’s provincial legislature would have a hard time surpassing it.
    I barely know where to start, but where do these men of the cloth get off on targeting what once was – and may again be – the engine of Alberta’s economy? Not just separation of church and state, but except at the Sunday collection plate, separation of church and matters economic, surely? Given their organizational history, starting with the Crusades, these religious leaders’ qualifications to judge the morality of anything seem shaky, to say the least. And their itch to pile on to the latest bandwagon while shamelessly pandering to the aboriginal population of northeastern Alberta is an insult to the intelligence of Canada’s indigenous people. -The sound of the pious apologies for residential schools have hardly faded away, for goodness sake.
    Like the answer (“Who cares?”) to the question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, what these New Age missionaries know or don’t know about the oil sands and environment protection is not just beside the point. There is no point. Cancel the junkets, boys, and get back to your churches.

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