Preliminary note: I’m not saying that “mother earth” is a dogma. I’m just saying that it is an acceptable expression for Christians to use since the Fathers used it.
Sirach / Ecclesiasticus 40:1 (Douay) Great labour is created for all men, and a heavy yoke is upon the children of Adam, from the day of their coming out of their mother’s womb, until the day of their burial into the mother of all.
The fertility of the earth is its perfect finishing; growth of all kinds of plants, the upspringing of tall trees, both productive and sterile, flowers’ sweet scents and fair colours, and all that which, a little later, at the voice of God came forth from the earth to beautify her, their universal Mother. (Hexameron, Homily II)
For many things plucked from trees, or pulled out of the ground, are the better of some interval of time before we use them for food, as leeks and endive, lettuce, grapes, apples, figs, and some pears; and there are many other things which get a better color when they are not used immediately after being plucked, besides being more wholesome for the body, and having a finer flavor to the palate. But these things should not possess all these excellent and agreeable qualities, if, as you say, they become more destitute of good the longer they are kept after separation from their mother earth. (On the Morals of the Manichaeans, par. 43)
Nay, not even the earth itself do we call a creator, though she seems to be the prolific mother of all things which she aids in germinating and bursting forth from the seed, and which she keeps rooted in her own breast; for we likewise read, “God gives it a body, as it has pleased Him, and to every seed his own body.” (City of God, Book XII, Ch. 25)
Having ordained this earth to be at once the home, the nurse, and the mother of all the creatures it contains, and watered it both with rain and water-springs, (God) caused it to abound in plants and flowers of every species, for the enjoyment of life. (Oration in Praise of Constantine, Ch. 6 Par 7).
The flesh, too, has her departures for a while — in waters, in fires, in birds, in beasts; she may seem to be dissolved into these, but she is only poured into them, as into vessels. And should the vessels themselves afterwards fail to hold her, escaping from even these, and returning to her mother earth, she is absorbed once more, as it were, by its secret embraces… (On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Chapter 63)
For the laws of nature are common to all men, that he who departs this life should be hidden in the earth, and delivered over for burial, and be covered up in the bosom of the earth the mother of all….(On Saint Babylas, 2)
And what more suitable example can we take than one from our common mother? For the earth itself, from which we are all taken, when it is not worked and cultivated, seems to be desert; and the field dies to the vines or olive-trees with which it was planted, and yet it does not lose its own nutritive power, which is, as it were, its life. (Concerning Repentance, Book I, Chapter 17, par. 96)
For as by the disobedience of the one man who was originally moulded from virgin soil, the many were made sinners, and forfeited life; so was it necessary that, by the obedience of one man, who was originally born from a virgin, many should be justified and receive salvation. (Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies, III:18:7)*Whence, again, David said that “the Lord would reign from the tree:” for elsewhere, too, the prophet predicts the fruit of this “tree,” saying “The earth has given her blessings,” — of course that virgin-earth, not yet irrigated with rains, nor fertilized by showers, out of which man was of yore first formed, out of which now Christ through the flesh has been born of a virgin…. (Tertullian, An Answer to the Jews, Chapter 13)*He Himself is with you who is the Lord of sanctification, the Father of purity,… who out of the virgin earth made man, and out of man’s side formed Eve in addition. (Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus, First Homily on the Annunciation)*The virgin earth, she bare that Adam that was head over the earth! The Virgin bare to-day the Adam that was Head over the Heavens. (Saint Ephraim of Syria, Hymns on the Nativity, Hymn I)*It was fitting that the Giver of all holiness should enter this world by a pure and holy birth. For He it is that of old formed Adam from the virgin earth, and from Adam without help of woman formed woman. For as without woman Adam produced woman, so did the Virgin without man this day bring forth a man. (Saint John Chrysostom, Homily on Christmas Morning)*From the virgin earth [came] Adam, Christ [came] from a virgin. (Saint Ambrose, On the Gospel of Luke 4:7)*Thus therefore the devil, who through eating had conquered the first man, was conquered through the fasting of the second man; and as he through want of self-restraint had conquered the first man, the son of the virgin earth, so we shall conquer through the fasting of the second Adam, the Son of the Virgin Mary. (The Martyrdom of Bartholomew; note the blatant assertion that Adam was “the son of the virgin earth.”)
And thus, when renovating those things which were from the beginning, and forming them again of the Virgin by the Spirit, He frames the same just as at the beginning. When the earth was still virgin and untilled, God, taking mould, formed the reasonable creature from it without seed. (Saint Methodius, Banquet of the Ten Virgins, Ch. 4)*But we, made confident by God the Word that was made flesh of the Virgin, answer that virginity was implanted in man’s nature from above and in the beginning. For man was formed of virgin soil. From Adam alone was Eve created. (Saint John of Damascus, An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book IV, Ch 24)
More than anyone else. you live in continual contact with nature. It is actual contact, since your lives are lived in places still remote from the excesses of an artificial civilization. Under the sun of the Heavenly Father your lives are dedicated to bringing forth from the depths of the earth the abundant riches which His hand has hidden there for you. Your contact with Mother Earth has also a deep social significance, because your families are not merely consumer-communities but also and especially producer-communities. (Ven. Pope Pius XII, Speech to the delegates at the Convention of the National Confederation of Farm Owner-Operators, Rome: November 15, 1946)*At the same moment was heard the voice of Heaven, that “world” of God dwelling in the inaccessible tabernacle of Glory. The majesty of the eternal God and mother earth making herself known by the wail of the newborn Infant enable us to glimpse the prospect of a new Peace, Reconciliation, and Covenant: “To us is born the Saviour of the world,”all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. (Pope St John Paul II, Homily for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, Dec 24, 1978)*Today we want to remember all these brothers and sisters in our prayer, with the intention of expressing our love for them in active solidarity, so that everyone without exception can enjoy the fruits of “mother earth” and live lives worthy of God’s children.” – Pope St John Paul II, Homily Nov 12, 2000 “The man of Assisi proclaims the value of poverty, in a world where the sin of human greed continues to bar the poor from banquet laid out by “our Sister Mother Earth” for all God’s children. (Pope St John Paul II, Message to the Friars Minor Sept 19, 2001)