Catholic educators, environmental experts discuss Supreme Court climate ruling

July 08, 2022

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that curtails government action on climate change, the Catholic Studies Program of University of Detroit Mercy hosted a dialogue bringing the religious and moral case for addressing climate change.

“Climate destruction: Catholic spiritual, moral and legal concerns about environmental justice,” brings together Jesuit priest Si Hendry, who chairs Detroit Mercy’s Catholic Studies Program, along with Detroit Mercy Law Associate Professor Nicholas Schroeck and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Matt MioSpeakers included Karen Donahue, RSM, a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy Justice Team, working nationally on issues of social justice and the Sisters of Mercy's Critical Social Concerns and Theresa Landrum, community organizer and activist from Southwest Detroit 48217, who has more than 20 years of experience fighting against environmental injustices.

An outdoors photo on the McNichols Campus shows to signs, reading 'Care for Our Common Home' and 'Earth' with trees in the background.The event took place July 14 in the Chemistry Building on Detroit Mercy’s McNichols Campus. It was also live-streamed for those attending virtually.

“Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si, argues that climate change is fundamentally a spiritual and moral issue about how we honor ourselves, our neighbors, our children, our common home, and our Creator,” said Hendry. “The Supreme Court has decided to remove one of the tools we have to address the threat of climate change to life and well-being. It is time to speak up for a healthier, safer world.”

The Catholic Church has advocated for years for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Power Plan. On June 30, the Supreme Court, in West Virginia v. EPA, interpreted this very policy in a way that severely restricts the EPA’s ability to address climate change.

Michigan-based Catholic advocacy group Strangers No Longer also sponsored this event. For more information, contact Hendry at

For more information on the U.S. bishops’ response to the Supreme Court decision, visit