Catholic Church opposition to mining a myth – Cedron – by Dorothy Kosich ( – February 26, 2014)

“The industry needs a new and better approach to the Church,” says Professor Mario Cedron, ‘The visit of a delegation of mining executives to the Vatican last September is a start.”

SALT LAKE CITY (MINEWEB) – In a presentation to the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Wednesday, Professor Mario Cedron of the Catholic University of Peru said the supposition that the Catholic Church opposes mining is based in myth and has no substance.

Some members of the clergy may express personal positions that are opposed to mining, Cedron advised, but no popes in modern memory have expressed anti-mining sentiments.

In fact, Pope John Paul II, a former coal miner, condemned the Liberation Theology political movement, which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in relation to liberation from unjust economic, political or social conditions. Cedron observed, “Many people call it Christianized Marxism.”

“Once, in Peru, a bishop member of Liberation Theology told me: ‘Why (do) you miners want to bring out the peasant from poverty? Don’t you know that Jesus Christ was poor and the doors of heaven are opened for the poor?’” Cedron recalled.

However, Cedron observed of the 50 active bishops in Peru “only two share a position of opposition to mining. In other countries like in Central America they are stronger.”

Last September, mining companies belonging to the International Council on Mining and Metals met with Cardinal Peter Turkson, the head of the Pontifical Counsel for Justice and Peace to study ethical problems rising from mining activities, especially in Africa and in other developing regions of the world. ICMM President Anthony Hodges, as well as senior executives from African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, Areva, BHP Billiton, MMG and Rio Tinto.

The ICMM reported on Sept. 9, 2013, “On behalf of the Pope, Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone opened the proceedings. “The participants at this meeting are aware that, so as not to repeat grave errors of the past, decisions today cannot be taken solely from geological perspectives or the possible economic benefits for investors and for the states in which the companies are based,” the Secretary of State said.

“The great challenge of business leaders is to create a harmony of interests, involving investors, managers, workers, their families, the future of their children, the preservation of the environment on both a regional and international scale, and a contribution to world peace.”

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