Crux: As a month-long summit of bishops on young people gets set to close, Church leaders from every continent signed a petition Friday asking for “ambitious and urgent climate action,” looking ahead to the next gathering of bishops in 2019 where climate change and its repercussions are expected to take center stage.
“This is a right of present and future generations… we have the obligation of protecting nature so that the future can be safeguarded,” said Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, during a press event at Vatican Radio Oct. 26.
The conference began with an appeal to politicians to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and to work toward the implementation of the Paris Agreement ahead of the COP24 climate summit hosted by the UN this December in Poland…
While bishops convening for the Synod of Bishops on young people, faith and vocational discernment have been discussing how to reach out to new generations, Gracias said, “it is criminal on our part, and on the part of society, if we do not make the earth habitable for them.”
“Not everybody is fully on board,” the cardinal added, but said the bishops have been met with “solidarity across the world [in calling] for us to collaborate with nature and not to combat, challenge nature.”
Gracias stressed that often it’s the weakest in society who suffer the brunt of the consequences of climate change.
The signed document… urges “rapid and radical changes while resisting the temptation to look for quick technological fixes.”
“Church leaders from Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Europe are jointly calling on governments to take concrete measures to shift towards a fair share of resources and responsibilities, where the ‘big emitters take political accountability and meet their climate finance commitments,’” reads the press release.
Speaking at the event, Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxenburg emphasized that it’s essential to look at the money flows in order to understand how to address climate change, proudly stating that his own diocese has divested from fossil fuels.
“If we don’t look at the money flows, then we will just have nice ways of speaking but things will not really happen,” Hollerich said, “and things have to happen…”
“It’s the Church’s role to lightly, gently remind people of this responsibility,” he said…
From Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s appeal in his encyclical Caritas in veritate to Pope Francis’s Laudato Si, the Catholic Church has been strongly involved in supporting the theological and spiritual argument for the care of creation, with this petition being the latest of many efforts to encourage sustainability for future generations…
Climate change is closely tied into Sunday rest and observance, according to Pope Francis in Laudato Si. If Rome is able to convince people that the earth needs rest, she will have a basis for Sunday laws. They have already taken the theology of the true seventh day Sabbath and applied it to Sunday. Also, Climate management is a global issue, hence it is a Catholic issue because through it, the Papacy can influence the whole world.
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8.