National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

With updates, bishops' 1981 message on energy could have renewed impact

  • Cars wait in long lines for gasoline in the Washington, D.C., area on June 15, 1979. (Newscom/Everett Collection/Warren K. Leffler)
Preview of a story in our print-only Our Environment 2014 special section.

It was 1981.

Only two years separated the United States from its second oil crisis in a decade. In 1979, Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini had slashed oil shipments to the U.S. to fewer than 500,000 barrels a day. Prices at the pump had soared and gas lines lengthened.

In this context, the Committee on Social Development and World Peace of the U.S. Catholic Conference drafted "Reflections on the Energy Crisis," a statement addressing energy policy.

Though never endorsed by the full assembly, it remains, 33 years later, the most comprehensive engagement by U.S. bishops into the moral implications of energy decisions.

Full story available in the print and Kindle editions. Subscribe now.
A version of this story appeared in the April 11-24, 2014 print issue under the headline: Time for a tuneup .

Enjoy this article?
Help support more like it by donating today!

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.


Friends of NCR 300x80 web ad.jpg

NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

October 9-22, 2015


Some articles are only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition.