Strong morality wake-up call for Catholic leaders in Australia

It is now three years ago Pope Francis published his encyclical letter Laudato Si’, where he told the world that “highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay.” (Laudato Si’ 165)

It was this occasion – the third anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical letter – that made an American Catholic Bishop decry the “immorality of inaction” on climate change, while nearly 600 U.S. Catholic institutions — including dioceses, communities of men and women religious, health care systems, universities, as well as parishes and schools — signed a new Catholic Climate Declaration that affirms the Paris Climate Agreement and supports actions to meet its goals.

The declaration stated,

“Climate change is an urgent moral issue because it compromises the future of our common home, threatens human life and human dignity, and adds to the hardships already experienced by the poorest and most vulnerable people both at home and abroad.”
~ The U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration, 2018

Pope Francis talks about morality rather than immorality. He prefers to stay on the positive note. In a media release, Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines sharpened the tone on this topic of moralilty when he said: “The immorality of inaction on climate change has been clear for a long time. With ever-increasing temperatures fueling super hurricanes as well as extending and deepening droughts, we are seeing the tragedies of inaction up close and personal.” 

Historically, we have been seeing our churches as society’s moral leaders. But with Pope Francis and now also an American Catholic Bishop calling out humanity’s inaction on climate change as ‘immoral’ – where does that leave those Australian church leaders who currently excel in their lack of action on climate change at all levels?

Apparently we need to be much more clear and outspoken about this: It labels them as immoral leaders of their community.

As Colin Mockett mentioned in The Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse last week, when this topic was being discussed: According to a new global index report from Germanwatch, Australia ranks among the very low-performing countries when it comes to carbon emissions, energy use and climate policy – and this otherwise modern and well-educated country is shamefully among the world’s low performers regarding renewable energy, which all together results in a miserable position 57 in the overall tableau.

In other words, when it comes to action on climate change, Australia is ranked as number 57 out of the 60 countries surveyed.

How is the Catholic community in Australia responding and contributing to change this highly immoral and unacceptable situation? If not much is happening, how then are the Catholic leaders stepping in to change this?

What are church leaders doing to educate the community and help create the necessary public pressure demanding that our government sufficiently implements credible policies for meeting the Paris Climate Agreement targets?

Is any work being done on creating an Australian Catholic Climate Declaration, similar to the American one? If not, then why not, actually?

When Christiana Figueres, who was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010 to 2016, spoke at an international symposium in Greece recently, where several religious leaders were attending, she challenged communities of faith to “strengthen the arc of faith” – that is, to “inject confidence” in the process of transformation that has started and that must accelerate.

Action in words and with the finances

So what could Catholic leaders’ leadership look like? Well, for a start, one could look towards the Pope himself for inspiration.

For example, it’s not long ago Pope Francis organised a two-day closed-door gathering in the Vatican gardens entitled ‘Energy Transition and Care for Our Common Home’, where he spoke to some of the world’s top fossil fuel executives including the chairman of Exxon Mobil, the chief executive of the Italian energy giant Eni, and the chief executive of BP – along with money managers of major financial institutions.

A local Catholic leader could ask: What would the equivalent to this initiative look like at local level in my city?

The Pope told the fossil fuel executives that there is “no time to lose,” and appealed to them “to be the core of a group of leaders who envision the global energy transition in a way that will take into account all the peoples of the earth, as well as future generations and all species and ecosystems.”

What stops a local priest from inviting the city’s local fossil fuel executives and managers of financial institutions to a gathering to deliver a similar appeal?

Secondly – and this would only require a short chat with the church’s accountant, all Catholic leaders could demand that their church moves it investments out of fossil fuels – that’s called divestment – and allocates what is required to make the church itself carbon-free and producing zero waste, recycling, setting up water tanks, and so on.

Not a difficult decision to making, considering that this is not just a question of morality, it is also a move which will save the church money in the long run.

“Civilisation requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilisation.”
~ Pope Francis, speaking to a group of oil company executives

» Leonardo diCaprio Foundation – 19 June 2018:
Pope Francis to oil executives: ‘no time to lose’ on climate change

The reality is the fossil fuel industry so far has no plans of stopping their destructive business. ExxonMobil, for instance, is a company which has announced plans to increase its oil production in the US and start more than two dozen new fossil fuel projects worldwide.

The International Energy Agency estimates that while investment in renewable electricity last year was $242 billion, that only adds up to half of what was invested in new fossil fuel development in that same year.

“That figure is promising, but remains insufficient,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres pointed out: “For a full-scale transition to clean energy, we must see billions invested by 2020.”
Solar, wind and hydropower represent less than 10 per cent of global energy use at the moment, according to the International Energy Agency. That share is expected to grow to just 15 per cent by 2030.

Under Pope Francis’ leadership, the Catholic church has moved to confront the business world on a range of subjects from poverty to tax havens and complex financial securities. But Pope Francis can’t do it alone. He needs the more than one billion Catholics in this world to join him on this crusade against a dirty, pollution culture of destruction, which has to be stopped.

Its time our local Catholic leaders begin to ask themselves how they can do better when it somes to addressing these critical issues with energy consumption – getting off fossil fuels while investing in renewables – and policy-making. Strong morality, and certainly not immorality, is what we must ask for from our Catholic leaders in Australia.


“On the brink of an unprecedented global catastrophe”

The Vatican’s secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin warned on 5 July 2018 that humanity is facing a “possible collapse” in the Earth’s ability to sustain life, as part of a two-day conference hosted by the Catholic Church to urge global leaders to mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change.

We are “on the brink of an unprecedented global catastrophe” from climate change, the effects of which “place a question mark on the very future of human existence,” he said.

The meeting represented one of the strongest calls for action from the Vatican to world leaders since the publication of Laudato Si’. The conference stressed the importance of staying below 1.5°C, set to be surpassed in the next two months, and an emissions turnaround.

» Global Catholic Climate Movement – 17 July 2018:
“On the brink of an unprecedented global catastrophe” from climate change, the effects of which “place a question mark on the very future of human existence”

» Global Catholic Climate Movement – 17 July 2018:
Moving beyond “thoughts and prayers” on the climate: it’s past time to get on the 1.5 C path say youth, scientists at Vatican conference

“This report is intended to help governments and other stakeholders reflect on how they should respond to the challenge of climate change in light of Laudato Si’ and broader Catholic Social Teaching. It provides guidance on how tackling climate change can also address the underlying issues of environmental degradation, poverty and inequality. The guidelines in this report enable members of the global Catholic family to engage with their governments’ climate plans and help adapt the principles of Laudato Si’. An executive summary of this paper is also available.”

» CIDSE – 14 November 2017:
Climate action for the common good
“Reflecting the principles of Laudato Si’ in our transformative response to the climate crisis,” CIDSE, November 2017

“… Sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.”
~ Pope Francis, ‘A prayer for our earth’, page 178 in his encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si – Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home’

“Most irresponsible in history”

Here is what Pope Francis wrote about getting off fossil fuels in his encyclical letter three years ago:

165. “We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay. Until greater progress is made in developing widely accessible sources of renewable energy, it is legitimate to choose the less harmful alternative or to find short-term solutions. But the international community has still not reached adequate agreements about the responsibility for paying the costs of this energy transition. In recent decades, environmental issues have given rise to considerable public debate and have elicited a variety of committed and generous civic responses. Politics and business have been slow to react in a way commensurate with the urgency of the challenges facing our world. Although the post-industrial period may well be remembered as one of the most irresponsible in history, nonetheless there is reason to hope that humanity at the dawn of the twenty-first century will be remembered for having generously shouldered its grave responsibilities.”

» Read more of the encyclical letter from Pope Francis on

“As I sought to point out in my Encyclical Laudato Si’, we may well be condemning future generations to a common home left in ruins. Today we must honestly ask ourselves a basic question: ‘What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”

~ Pope Francis, June 2018


Currently the Federal Government is showing an appalling lack of leadership on environmental concerns, however this has not stopped the community from rallying through people power. The same can be said of the Catholic community, a local member of the church told us:

“Many of the 5.2 million Catholics in Australia are involved in significant environmental movements such as Caritas and at a grass roots level. We are inspired by Pope Francis and his world leadership on the environment, and we are engaged in environmental activism.”

In 2016 Catholic priests allegedly received instructions to preach about climate change as part of a drive by the church to cut global warming, and church members were urged to spread the message in a non-political manner. However, it is well-known that Cardinal George Pell – “Australia’s top Catholic” — is an outspoken climate change denier, and for that reason the view that this would be the position of the Catholic Church as well has been fairly common. Pell is clearly defying the leadership of Pope Francis on climate emergency. However, after his current court case – win or lose – it is not likely he will return to the Vatican.


» Desmog – 10 May 2018:
EPA’s Scott Pruitt Dined With Fellow Climate Science Denier and Vatican Treasurer Cardinal George Pell, Documents Show
“One of the Catholic church’s most powerful figures, Australian climate science denier Cardinal George Pell, dined with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt and discussed a plan to set up a two-sided “debate” about human-caused climate change, it has been revealed. According to documents collated by The New York Times, administrator Pruitt joined Pell and others for a $240-per-head dinner in June 2017, an engagement that was left off official schedules of Pruitt’s Vatican visit.”


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The U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration

This declaration expresses the U.S. Catholic community’s call to climate action, arising from its theological foundation, proclaimed to all within our one human family.

“As Catholic communities, organizations, and institutions in the United States, we join with state, tribal, and local governments, as well as businesses, financial institutions, and other faith organizations, to declare that we are still in on actions that meet the climate goals outlined in the Paris Agreement.

The Catholic Church has long recognized — and 55 years ago Pope Paul VI eloquently described – the tragic consequences of unchecked human activity (Laudato Si’, 4).  

This reality includes the problem of excess greenhouse gas pollution and the reality of human-forced climate change.  In 2001 the U.S Bishops said that “global climate is by its very nature a part of the planetary commons,” and that prudent action must be taken to protect it (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good, 2001). On numerous occasions Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have called for an international climate change agreement.

Climate change is an urgent moral issue because it compromises the future of our common home, threatens human life and human dignity, and adds to the hardships already experienced by the poorest and most vulnerable people both at home and abroad. We teach that governments exist to protect and promote the common good, and that “the climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.” (Laudato Si’, 23).

“[A]t its core, global climate change is not about economic theory or political platforms, nor about partisan advantage or interest group pressures. It is about the future of God’s creation and the one human family. It is about protecting both ‘the human environment’ and the natural environment. It is about our human stewardship of God’s creation and our responsibility to those who come after us” (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good, 2001).

In December 2015, the leaders of 195 nations adopted the Paris Agreement that established a framework for nations to reduce carbon emissions to limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change. The Holy See and the U.S. Bishops have repeatedly voiced their support for it.

On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris agreement, the only nation to do so. In response, the U.S. bishops declared, “The President’s decision not to honor the U.S. commitment to the Paris agreement is deeply troubling” (USCCB Statement on the President’s Withdrawal from Paris Agreement, June 1, 2017).

As Catholic communities, organizations, and institutions in the United States, we join with other institutions from across American society to ensure that the United States remains a global leader in reducing emissions. We call for the Administration to join the global community and return to the Paris Agreement.

» The U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration:

» Read more:


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Media release from the Catholic Climate Covenant

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nearly 600 U.S. Catholic institutions — including dioceses, communities of men and women religious, health care systems, universities, as well as parishes and schools — signed the Catholic Climate Declaration that affirms the Paris Agreement and supports actions to meet its goals. The Declaration responds to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Agreement, is in solidarity with the U.S. bishops’ position, and is consistent with the calls for climate action from Pope Francis and his predecessors, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II. The Declaration was organized by Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC), a Washington, DC-based organization that partners with seventeen national Catholic institutions including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Declaration also joins the wider We Are Still In campaign organized a year ago.

On a call with reporters, leaders from several institutions spoke in moral terms of the need, in the words of Pope Francis, to “care for our common home.” Leaders pointed to the human suffering and threats to human life caused by human activity. Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines and the bishop liaison to CCC, said, “The immorality of inaction on climate change has been clear for a long time. With ever-increasing temperatures fueling super hurricanes as well as extending and deepening droughts, we are seeing the tragedies of inaction up close and personal.”

Bishop Pates recalled the people on the Gulf Coast of Texas and in Puerto Rico who continue to recover from last year’s devastating hurricanes.

Dan Misleh, Catholic Climate Covenant executive director, said: “Laudato Si’ was a high-water mark for the Church’s decades-long engagement in the climate issue. This Declaration builds on a flurry of action this past year and helps to consolidate and expand on the numerous activities already happening in the U.S. Catholic community.”

He cited several examples from the signatories to the declaration. The Archdiocese of Chicago is benchmarking the energy and water use of all their buildings and the Archdiocese of Atlanta rolled out a 40-page, Laudato Si’ action plan. He also noted that the Covenant’s Catholic Energies program, which assists Catholic facility owners in reducing their carbon footprint, is nearing $10 million in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout the country.

Even while the signatories noted that progress on climate change has been imperiled by President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, Sister Sharlet Wagner, CSC, the president-elect of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), said, “Climate change is not a political issue but a moral issue. God’s creation is in peril by our own actions. Yet we know it is a gift for us to enjoy, safeguard, and protect for future generations.”

Throughout the summer and leading up to the Global Climate Action Summit in September, the Covenant will gather commitments from signers to the Declaration and share those during the event.

» This media release was published on

» More information about the 2015 encyclical letter from Pope Francis, including many quotes, can be found on


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Catholic climate action in Australia

“We commit to encouraging our own people, civic leaders included, to do their part to foster sustainable and equitable developmental and economic policies in our region. And we implore those gathered in Paris to work assiduously to reach binding outcomes that will enhance the care and protection of our planet as the home of the citizens of the world.”
~ Bishop Vincent Long, Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, Archbishop John Ribat, President of the Federation of the Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania Executive Committee and Archbishop of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and five other Bishops – in 2015

» Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Media Blog – 6 September 2015:
Bishops warn world leaders about threat of climate change

Catholic Earthcare Australia is the ecological agency for the Catholic Church in Australia, “caring for creation to enable an ecologically sustainable and resilient Australia.” Catholic Earthcare Australia is “calling on individuals and organisations in Australia to take action at a local level to reduce their carbon footprint.”

»

» (inactive since June 2017)

» (stopped/paused posting in April 2017)

Pastoral statement on climate change
Catholic Earthcare Australia has published a pastoral statement on climate change: ‘Climate Change: Our Responsibility to Sustain God’s Earth’ This is a position paper endorsed by the Bishops’ Committee for Justice, Development, Ecology and Peace. It was presented by Bishop Christopher Toohey at the National Climate Change Conference in Canberra in November 2005.

» Global Catholic Climate Movement:


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What religious leaders and communities can do



Christian positions on climate change

“Gravest Christian duty”

“Every faithful Christian, mindful that the creation is the common home, has the serious duty not only to NOT damage, but also to improve, both with normal behavior, and with specific initiatives, the natural environment in which each person is called to live.”
~ Recommendation to Pope Francis on behalf of the Dicastery for legislative texts, to insert this into the canons on the gravest Christian duties, noted by Cardinal Coccopalmerio during a “Dialogue on Catholic investments for the energy transition” in Rome in July 2018. has links to various Australian and international statements by the different Christian denominational structures and prominent organisations.

The Anglican church’s reponse to global climate change

“The Anglican Consultative Council

receives and commends for study The World Is Our Host: A Call to Urgent Action for Climate Justice, a statement from seventeen Anglican archbishops and bishops who met at Volmoed, South Africa, February 2015;

notes the dire consequences of climate change for future generations and for all of God’s creation;
recognizes the global urgency of the crisis of climate change and its impact on the well-being of all people, especially the most vulnerable in societies;

encourages Anglicans everywhere to join in pastoral, priestly, and prophetic action as we seek together the redemption of all things in Christ by:

• praying and fasting, including special fasts on the first day of each month and a ‘carbon fast’ during Lent;

• designing and taking strategic actions toward sustainability and resilience in our dioceses, communities and congregations, taking into account local ecological and economic contexts and opportunities;

• reviewing and making necessary changes to church investments to ensure these are visibly supportive of a move towards a low carbon economy;
making energy efficiency and access to renewable energy a priority in all church operations;

• teaching the Fifth Mark of Mission in theological and church-sponsored educational bodies;

• urging political, economic, social, and religious leaders in our various constituencies to address the climate change crisis as the most pressing moral issue of our day consistent with the United Nations’ 21st Climate Change Conference, Paris 2015;

• recognizing and supporting indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent in decisions concerning the environment and the well-being of communities; and

• advocating for sustainable water, food, and agricultural practices in our communities consistent with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

requests provinces of the Anglican Communion to consider appointing a contact person to the Anglican Communion Environmental Network who will report to the Network on actions taken so that a full report may be made to the next ACC.
~ The Anglican Consultative Council, ‘Resolution 16.08: Response to Global Climate Change’

“We believe that responding to climate change is an essential part of our responsibility to safeguard God’s creation.”
~ Church of England, statement on its website

“This September, the multi-faith service at Grace Cathedral at the start of the Global Climate Action Summit gives everyone a chance – whether in person or on the live-stream – to commit to living the change in our own diet, transportation and home energy use that’s needed for a non-scorched, sustainable future.”

» Reviving Creation – 19 June 2018:
World religious leaders confront climate disruption
“Leaders of the Eastern Church and the Western Church, representing billions of people worldwide, spoke with one voice this month about the moral urgency of confronting the climate crisis.”


. . .


“His Holiness the Pope is showing extraordinary leadership in trying to bridge the gap between moral obligation and will to act. He leads us in recognizing the combination of urgency and opportunity in the crisis we now face. He serves as an outstanding and crucial example to those of us in the secular world. Only by combining political and moral leadership, together with social movements and sound economics, will the necessary decisions be taken with the urgency that is now required.”

“There is no horse race between climate responsibility and economic development. But we must build the political will, and quickly, to take the strong decisions that are necessary.”
~ Professor Nicholas Stern, president of Royal Economic Society and chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics

» World Economic Forum – 11 July 2018:
Climate change will force us to redefine economic growth


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The solarised church and its moral obligation

To signify its commitment to clean energy, Our Lady of Angels Parish in Atimonan, Quezon in the Philippines installed a five-kilowatt grid-tied solar energy system on the roof of the church.

Solar energy supplies power to the church, the convent, and the street lights within the church’s complex.

“It is a small step but we want to show the people that clean energy is possible,” church leader Monsignor Noel Villareal said.

The church will not waver from opposing coal and is using all of its resources to get their message across.

“The town was established by Franciscan priests in 1937 and we keep an oath to protect the Nature and the poor. We believe that any technology or development that harms the environment should be replaced with better alternatives—in this case, renewable energy,” he explained.

Villareal expressed alarm over the recent killings of priests, but he said that he is not afraid.

“Being a priest comes with a lot of risks; everyone knows that. But I believe, as the late President Corazon Aquino said: ‘It is better to die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.’” 

» GMA News – 5 July 2018:
How a small parish is leading the fight against coal in Quezon


. . .


» Medium | Climate Reality – 20 June 2018:
California Gov. Jerry Brown: My Faith Compels Me to Act on Climate
“A lot of things in politics are very relative … but when we deal with the environment and the fundamental conditions of nature, that’s about as close to theology as I think you can get.”


“In withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, President Donald Trump demolished everything that the 2015 papal declaration represents. On this, the day after Trump’s decision, Laudato Si’ is more important than ever. A blistering indictment of the human failure to care for Earth, it is also a poignant description of the momentous choice now confronting every government, corporation, and person on the planet. Trump may not have read it, but everyone who seeks to understand in explicit terms the depth of the danger he represents should. “Laudato Si’ ” is a manifesto. If you read it two years ago, read it again now.”
~ James Carroll in The New Yorker on 2 June 2017


. . .


“Avoid indifference, resignation, and trust in inadequate solutions”

Marie Venner wrote in the Global Catholic Climate Movement’s newsletter:

“As Pope Francis advises us, we must avoid indifference, resignation, and trust in inadequate solutions. This particularly comes into view and reflection around 1.5 C°.

Catholic bishops from each continent called to limit global warming to 1.5 C ahead of the Lima COP meeting. What does this mean? The translation of 1.5 C = turn around now! The very definition of metanoia and repent!

In line with Laudato Si’s call to transition off fossil fuels without delay (165). We are already over 1C and 1.5 C may be built into the 30 year time lag on which effects are seen. People are already seeing the effects now. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is around 410 ppm and the safe level at which human life developed was between 260 and 280 ppm until the mid 1800s (when climate change was discovered).

Scientists studying polar ice have told us we need to get much closer to that level (310-315 ppm range) to avoid melting the glaciers on land in Antarctica and Greenland that will ultimately swamp coastal cities otherwise. And half of the world’s population lives within 15 miles of the coast.  As we hear in one of the stories this week, we find a way and the Holy Spirit joins the effort when we move forward in faith and “just do it”.

Island nations and African countries have clearly and consistently explained that 1.5 C or less is essential for their well-being and in some cases their continuity and life. GCCM took up the 1.5 C call early in 2015 and was supported by the papal office in this (May 2015). Warnings from Cardinal Turkson and others in the Vatican accompanied the over 800,000 Catholic signatures and the Pope’s shoes in the Paris meetings to beg for 1.5 C in the Paris agreement, care and life for all. Pope Francis said “we have no such right” to take others’ lives (from people to coral reefs), or taking their sustenance through our indifference, resignation or trust in inadequate solutions. The universal destination of goods – water, what is in the ground, our air, atmosphere – is a key Catholic principle.

Now it remains for us to consider and implement solutions that would be adequate. Help us think of these. We know they have to be enough to turn around the climate situation, like:

• Providing clean, distributed renewable electricity (like solar panels, chargers, lights) to all communities that need it (1.2 billion without electricity)

• No further investment in fossil fuel infrastructure (new electricity plants, vehicles, etc.)

• Agriculture, efficiency, and other investment targeted for the common good, leaving selfish and extractive approaches behind”


. . .


“It is possible for our society and economy and our utilities to turn around now or very soon. There’s a path characterized by light, clean energy, more healthy communities, with more opportunity and safety from climate disruption, rather than short-term profit, damage, and a throwaway culture! We can be responsible to previous and future generations and fulfill our current responsibilities at the same time.“
~ Marie Venner, Global Catholic Climate Movement, Washington, USA

“Are we undertaking the necessary set of actions that could deliver the change we need, in time?

1) get our electricity off of fossil fuels,

2) get our transportation off of fossil fuels – with more support for walking, bicycling, transit and most of all – phase out registrations of new fossil fuelled vehicles right away, and

3) everything else.

A “both/and” approach is almost always good, but we have to avoid losing the top priorities and needs, applying Pope Francis’ criteria or caution.”
~ Marie Venner, Global Catholic Climate Movement, Washington, USA – in GCCM Blog Digest on 30 January 2018, ‘The latest news on climate change from a Catholic perspective.’


. . .


“Trump may not have read it, but everyone who seeks to understand in explicit terms the depth of the danger he represents should. Laudato Si’ is a manifesto. If you read it two years ago, read it again now.”
~ James Carroll in The New Yorker on 2 June 2017


. . .


“Pope Francis and I agree that climate change is a moral issue that requires collective urgent action. It is an issue of social justice, human rights and fundamental ethics”
~ Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General


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. . .


“All of us have a responsibility. All of us. Some small, some big. A moral responsibility, to accept opinions, or make decisions. I think it is not something to joke about. (…) As we know, everyone is affected by the climate crisis. Yet the effects of climate change are not evenly distributed. It is the poor who suffer most from the ravages of global warming.”
~ Pope Francis

» BBC – 9 June 2018:
Climate change: Pope urges action on clean energy

Pope Francis Has Spoken: Take Climate Change Seriously, Or Earth Will Be Nothing But ‘Rubble’ And ‘Refuse’

The Pope spoke during a papal address on Friday and urged governments around the world to take global warming seriously.

Pope Francis made an ardent appeal to governments around the world on Friday during a papal address to heed his warning on climate change, insisting that Earth will one day be nothing but a giant pile of rubble if environmental concerns aren’t addressed swiftly.

As The Hill reports, Francis spoke on the third anniversary of “Praise Be,” which is an encyclical letter that confirms the stance that the Catholic Church has taken on climate change in which they describe the issue as being one that is both moral and scientific in nature.

The Pope explained that there is a very real chance that if things continue as they are going at the present rate, the future of life on Earth will be a harsh one, with many areas of it completely uninhabitable.

When Pope Francis wrote his “Praise Be” letter back in 2015, he did so before the Paris climate conference that year. With 195 countries around the world deciding that it would be wise to dramatically scale back greenhouse gas levels and cut these in half if they could, the Pope has now said that these gases continue to be on the rise, along with carbon dioxide emissions, and addressed governments everywhere to alert them to what he believes is truly “a cause for real concern.”

» Inquisitr – 8 July 2018:
Pope Francis Has Spoken: Take Climate Change Seriously, Or Earth Will Be Nothing But ‘Rubble’ And ‘Refuse’

» AP News – 6 July 2018:
Pope warns climate change turning Earth into desert, garbage


What religious leaders and communities can do

Inspirational: What religious leaders and communities can do

Inspirational news and stories
Initiatives and organisations
Useful tips


Two things you can do right now to help amplify Pope Francis’ message

1) Urge your own faith leaders to join the call for climate action
2) Urge your local diocese, church, or community group to divest from fossil fuels and invest in renewables

» More about divestment on