Earth Day instead of Easter?

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Some Catholics are concerned with what they see as an attempt by environmentalists to hijack Easter for their own Earth Day purposes.

In a letter dated April 1 to churches across the country, the environmentalist group Earth Day Network encourages priests to remember Earth Day Sunday, even though Easter is that same Sunday.

“This year we again invite you to celebrate Earth Day Sunday and share with your parishioners a story of creation care that will impart to them the importance of protecting a nurturing the planet that was provided to us,” the letter reads. “Earth Day Sunday is a great way to bring your parish together through community building and sharing the faith with those in the community while improving the world around us.”

The letter does add that if priests want to celebrate Easter instead, they could consider delivering a climate change sermon on the following Sunday. Michael Voris of REAL Catholic TV, however, is not buying it, calling the campaign a push for a “pagan takeover of Easter”

“Earth Day 2011 falls on Friday, April 22, which is Good Friday so on the following Sunday, which is two days later, the Earth Day Network wants Catholic priests all over the country to devote their homily to Earth Day. Slight problem, the next Sunday, the one after Good Friday, is Easter,” Voris said. “Imagine going to mass to hear about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead only to be told to go clean up a park.”

“I can tell you that for many years we have worked with Evangelicals and all faiths who have been involved in this movement,” a Earth Day Network spokesman told TheDC. “My understanding is that the letter really says the opposite, it says celebrate Easter and some other time do something for Easter and let us know what you are doing.”

Either way, Voris does not approve of the environmentalist group’s meddling.

“This is what happens when church leaders do not stop this insanity dead in its tracks. Global warming is a scam. Its intent is to limit population growth through abortion, contraception, and sterilization,” said Voris.

The letter also includes a list of celebrities who comprise Earth Day Network’s global advisory committee. Among those listed are Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, independent Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders, Barbara Streisand, and Ted Turner.

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