A Holy Cross nun had an “intense relationship” with her cat that inspired her to create the Earth Stations, an alternative to the Stations of the Cross. It’s all chronicled in the South Bend Tribune, which speaks favorably of how the Holy Cross religious orders have turned their focus toward environmentalism.

They also began to integrate ecological concerns into their prayer and rituals. “We decided if we were going to educate, we needed to do it not just with words but through prayer and ritual too,” Turgi said. During Lent last year, the Saint Mary’s campus did the traditional Stations of the Cross and a new Earth Stations. Turgi said the Earth Stations recalled the suffering of the Earth as the body of God.

Okay, I may be off base here, but I’m pretty sure that referring to the planet as the “body of God” is heretical. Since it’s not a direct quote, we’ll give sister the benefit of the doubt ... but not too much.

The orders are very active in their environmentalism, lobbying politicians and corporations andsuch, but it leaves me with the nagging question: What makes them any different from dozens of other liberal environmental wacko groups? And what is it about what they do that is specifically Christian and sets them apart from the secular enviro-wacko groups?

I’d love to see the statistics on how many novices are joining the Holy Cross orders.