30 August 2007

Bless me father, for I have eco-sinned

Are you wracked by guilt because you have forgotten to recycle or to plant enough trees to offset your carbon footprint? If you are attending the Waveney Greenpeace fair this weekend then spiritual aid will be at hand. Dom Anthony Sutch, (a Benedictine monk and former head of Downside school, one of England’s most prestigious boarding schools, who is now a parish priest in Suffolk) will be present to hear all your eco-confessions.

Apparently he will be dressed in a chasuble made from recycled curtains. The confessional will be constructed of recycled doors. Father Sutch said “It is not, I hope, blasphemous to do this. I do not think it is. It is just an attempt to make people conscious of the way they live. The Church is aware of green issues and of how aware we have to be of how we treat the environment. I know the Pope has now set up his own airline, but I am told the Vatican will be planting trees every time it flies. I do think the way we treat our environment is important. There is a huge amount of greed in the West. We have to be aware of the consequences of how we live.”

Rupert Read, a local Green councillor will be standing by to offer post-confessional advice. “It is a bit of a laugh but there is a serious underlying point. By doing this we hope people will think a bit more about what they might be doing to make their world a better place. I imagine people will be confessing to things like, ‘I have bought a new car even though I didn't need one’, or ‘I flew to Australia last year’. I have come up with some penances, such as making a donation to a green charity or telling ten other people what you have done.”

It’s all harmless stuf - unless of course Dom Sutch is a fire and brimstone type priest (Screaming Dom Sutch?) - then it will be hair shirts (and other cilices) all round. I wonder what his bishop thinks...


Anonymous said...

Not so much "You're going to burn in hell you miserable sinner!", as "You're going to decompose very slowly in a particularly smelly compost heap!"

jams o donnell said...

Obviously he must be a member of Opus Gaiae!