Thursday 15 January 2015 at 17:13Global Catholic Movement Launches!
Yesterday, Catholic organizations and leaders throughout the world announced their collaboration as a movement working toward a sustainable climate future. Comprised of laity and clergy, theologians, scientists, and activists, the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) released a statement containing their beliefs and mission. Their statement will be presented to Pope Francis during his trip to the Philippines this week by Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Tagle.
The statement supports Catholic environmental teachings and calls for prayer and action among the world’s Catholic population.
This is the first time such a global movement of Catholics gather to work together on climate issues. According Dr. Pablo Canziani, a climate scientist from Argentina participating in the GCCM, “Conversations about the climate crisis have historically been more about intellectual arguments than about the profound spiritual and moral implications of our failure to care for God’s creation.”
“The basis of our concerns is scriptural and founded on the tradition of the Church. From Genesis through Revelation, Catholics accept as a revealed truth that creation and its order is a good that we must embrace and steward. This has been echoed and championed by Church leaders for two millennia,” said Dr. Canziani.
Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network, and also a member of GCCM explained the statement further: “Enhanced with teachings from Pope Francis and the Bishops of the Philippines, the statement calls for Catholics to promote the teachings of the Church, appreciate their moral responsibility to act, and raise awareness about climate change and its impacts, particularly on the poor and future generations."
"Catholics are encouraged to take part in future actions that seek a strong international climate agreement, and entrust all our efforts to Jesus Christ, who makes all things new,” said Carolan.
From the Philippines, the Ecology Ministry coordinator at the Archdiocese of Manila, Lou Arsenio, adds: “The movement plans to promote networking and sharing of information on climate change among Catholic organizations across national borders, to enhance a greater understanding of Catholic teaching on care of God’s creation, and to respond to Pope Francis’ and other church leaders’ concern about climate change. We invite all Catholic individuals and organizations to join this effort, both to raise awareness about this important issue and to act within the public sphere.”
The GCCM launch coincides with the trip of Pope Francis to the Philippines where he will meet survivors of super typhoon Haiyan, which is considered to be related to climate change. The launch also takes place at a time when the Catholic community is expecting the upcoming encyclical about ecology.
Photo via flickr user Catholic Church England and Wales