Vatican Radio reported that the leader of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit played a vital role in Paris, representing the voice of the poorest communities who are worst affected by climate change. In his speech to the conference in Paris Tveit echoed Pope Francis who has repeatedly appealed to help the most vulnerable by enacting a global agreement on climate protection.
“We who represent faith-based communities around the world,” Tveit said, “look to you in these days… COP 21 must offer clear signals and regulations to drastically reduce the carbon emissions from human-based activity. You can. We also believe that you can put the interests of the whole of humanity and creation before your own national interests. We believe that you will serve the world by showing the best of human creativity and capacity.”
Notice that the WCC and its member organizations are looking for a global political solution. Political solutions rarely solve anything. They usually make matters worse. But the Paris agreement goes beyond the appeals to emotions and vulnerabilities. It is the first globalized agreement of this type. And the World Council of Churches is supporting it, as expected, uniting in an ecumenical alliance with the Papacy to support the papal quest to become the moral leader of the world through the globalized agreement for the protection of the climate.
Following the Paris climate conference, Tveit was at the Vatican for talks with Cardinal Peter Turkson, one of the architects of the papal encyclical on climate, Laudato Si, and members of the St. Egidio community. While there, he was interviewed by Vatican Radio.
Tveit said that the most vulnerable have the “right to hope,” and that world leaders would show responsibility towards all of humanity and not just the interests of their own countries. He said the agreement in Paris is an “important symbol” of this and “that politicians, business leaders, researchers, the civil sector and the religious communities now need to ‘speak the same language’ to press for monitoring and implementation.
Tveit said the religious discourse – especially Pope Francis’ encyclical – has had an impact and “now it’s time to follow up.”
Tveit also said the WCC supports the papal Jubilee Year, inaugurated by Pope Francis in December, and that it offers an ecumenical challenge, as well as opportunity for the “worldwide fellowship of humanity” to see that we need mercy “to be able to find a way forward.”
The ecumenical WCC leaders priorities for 2016 are 1) to look at ways they can combat the use of religion to justify violence; 2) to follow up on the climate change achievements; and 3) to pursue the search for justice and peace, especially in the Middle East.
The WCC is designed to bring all churches into harmony and alignment with Rome.
And all the churches “wondered after the beast,” Revelation 13:3