Tuesday 09 August 2016 at 20:16Winning The Greatest Of All Medals
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From the participants of the Faith and Climate Latin American convergence —
With the enthusiasm generated by the Olympic Games, we extend a warm greeting of Peace and Wellbeing to all of you whose great sport merits have classified you for such a magnificent event.
We are young people from various countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, from different beliefs and social sectors that are participating in a race against the clock to save the life of our planet. These are our “Olympics of Life,” which from our different perspectives of faith, call us to unite in order to denounce the deterioration of our Common Home and to search for a culture of care.
We invite you to be an integral part of this team that looks to win the greatest of all medals: the medal of Good Living.
In the sports you play, we see values such as consistency, persistence, and commitment. We admire you. The Olympic motto, “Faster, Higher, Stronger” encourages us to face the environmental collapse we are living today and the lack of consciousness and collective action for the protection of our ecosystems.
You are symbols of excellence and perseverance. You represent the strength of oneness over individual competition. This is what we need to break down the walls that separate us and find a balance in the use and distribution of the goods of nature.
Mother Earth is crying out for justice and mercy and sports are a universal language that can echo this cry.
For is it not this the earth that supports us when we are playing, running, swimming, rowing, boxing, dancing? Are they not the lungs of the Earth that give us the oxygen we need to reach our goals? We need to recognize that we are Earth and that just as you take care of your bodies expecting to give your best, we must learn to take care of our common house.
For this reason, we invite you to use your podium, your track, your microphones and cameras to express this concern for the earth. Raise your voice against the destruction of the planet.
For example, don’t forget the severe damage that those in power are inflicting upon the Amazon in this same Brazil that hosts you. Demand the use of sport equipment with environmental certification. Ask them to build more sport fields, but while respecting the ecosystem and the people, following environmental and justice criteria. Join us in the campaign against climate change "1.5°C, the record we must not break." Take advantage of every interview to say something about the care for life.
Just as you don’t allow yourselves be treated like commodities, neither should we let the rest of Creation be treated in that way.
Your dignity, our dignity and the dignity of the blue planet are priceless and are not for sale.
After the Olympic Games, we will be waiting for you at home to share your victories and learn from your defeats. We hope that you take the lead in favor of the planet. We invite you to plant trees and live by giving example on how to eat well, in a healthy way and without pesticides.
In our local causes, you can do a lot and are very important. However, the greatest medal that we can win is the one that we will obtain together when we can leave our descendants a sustainable world which they can share and enjoy. Life will always win and that is our main hope.
Thank you very much and enjoy these Olympic Games. We wish you the best of triumphs and the joy of a multicultural experience, in solidarity and fellowship.
In solidarity from the young people of the “Faith and Climate: Holy Waters” convergence of Latin America and the Caribbean
The “Faith and Climate: Holy Waters” convergence is being made possible by the following organizations: ISER, GIP, GreenFaith, FUMEC, Centro Ecuménico Diego de Medelín, Iglesia e Minería. GCCM, Religiones por la Paz, MisionerosClaretianos, CEDEPCA, Consejo Latinoamericano de Iglesias, REPAM, Mesa EcoteológicaInterreligiosa de Bogotá, CELAM, Consejo Interreligios del Perú, Coalición Ecuménica por el Cuidado de la Creación and NuestrasVoces.
Translation: Larissa Losanoff, Kevin Sheerin