Leaders of Catholic organizations worldwide called for urgent action for God’s creation and a “profound ecological conversion” after the latest United Nations climate report detailed the worsening climate crisis.
The comprehensive report, published on Monday, detailed how the climate crisis is affecting all members of God’s creation despite global efforts to face it. Leaders from faith-based organizations, such as CIDSE, the Missionary Society of St. Columban Laudato Si’ Movement, emphasized the need for unity and concrete transformative measures that would promote social justice and help heal God’s creation.
Josianne Gauthier, Secretary-General of CIDSE, an international family of Catholic social justice organizations:
“CIDSE embraces the call of acting together and in solidarity for the planet. It is our responsibility to care for our common home, respect its peace and healthy environment, and use its resources wisely and with care. This requires a constant global effort, but we are not afraid of a big endeavor if we do it together and if nobody is left behind. In concrete terms, solidarity should take the form of a common but differentiated responsibility approach.”
Tomás Insua, Laudato Si’ Movement Executive Director
“The plight of the vulnerable and cry of the Earth cannot go unnoticed. As Catholics, we are amplifying the need to tackle both the climate emergency and the biodiversity crisis at the same time, and this report makes clear how we can create solutions to these massive challenges. Join us by signing and sharing the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition.”
Amy Echeverria, International Coordinator for Justice, Peace and Ecology for the Missionary Society of St. Columban and Co-coordinator of the Vatican Covid Commission Ecology Taskforce:
“The Earth and her people are crying out for harmony and healing. The latest report from the IPCC illustrates how pain, suffering, and even death to millions of humans, animals, and ecosystems are the result of anemic global policies, practices, and socio-economic systems.
“Political and economic decision makers, as well as Church leaders, need to examine why, despite repeated IPCC reports, there is a failure to take seriously how the insatiable demands of our global economy are tearing apart the web of life.
“This week the global Christian community enters into the sacred season of Lent, which is a time of personal and communal repentance and reconciliation. We encourage leaders to profound ecological conversion, especially those who are responsible for setting global policies.
“We believe that such transformation begins in the heart and requires listening to cries of the Earth and her people, sacrifice for the common good, and reparations to people who have been and continue to be oppressed by existing social, economic, and environmental structures. The time for justice that heals and gives hope is now in order to prevent the worst of climate change’s impacts.”
Father Germain Rajoelison of SECAM, the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar:
“The poorest people…are not responsible for the climate crisis, but they are already suffering the most. They are also the least financially equipped to deal with climate impacts. Thousands of communities…are experiencing very erratic climate, alternating droughts and typhoons, creating so much havoc … especially the poor and most vulnerable. Many of them are reaching the limits of adaptation.” –
Father Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, Coordinator of the Sector of Ecology and Creation at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
“The latest UN report makes painfully clear that the cry of the Earth is at its highest pitch yet. God’s creation is groaning for our help, and God’s creation is ready to help us, but only if we are able to look beyond ourselves and care for our common home as Pope Francis calls us to do in Laudato Si’….Let us unite and urgently commit to deploying ecological approaches that transform our way of dwelling in this world and our relationship with the Earth’s resources, which will be vital for us to address both the biodiversity collapse and the climate crisis in a meaningful way.” –
The report, written by 270 researchers in 67 countries, wasn’t all bad news. It also highlighted the vital role biodiversity and the safeguarding of God’s creation will play in our ability to end the climate crisis.
All people are encouraged to sign the Healthy Planet, Healthy People petition, which calls on world governments to preserve biodiversity by tackling the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis together; promising no more biodiversity collapse; ensuring equitable global action, including support for those most affected; and protecting and respecting human rights, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in climate and biodiversity action.