Living the Encyclical call for change

Catholic bishops call for climate action

Something new is happening in the Catholic church. Catholic church leaders have released a powerful statement urging government leaders to take “ambitious and urgent” action against climate change. The call from the heads of six continental bishops’ conferences is very clear:

“We call for ambitious and immediate action to be taken in order to tackle and overcome the devastating effects of the climate crisis. These actions need to be taken by the international community at all levels: by persons, communities, cities, regions, nations.”

“We need a deep and durable shift towards sustainable lifestyles and bold political choices that could back those efforts to address overconsumption and drastically cut ecological footprints at individual and community levels.”
~ 2018 joint statement on climate justice by Bishops’ Conferences

The unusual statement was released on 26 October 2018 and was signed by the bishops with the support of GCCM, CIDSE, and Caritas Internationalis.


More divest
As part of the ‘Season of Creation’ in September, 19 new institutions made a commitment to divest from dirty fossil fuels. Among these were Caritas India, the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, and the Archdioceses of Palermo and Vercelli and Suva, Fiji, who made a joint announcement at a Global Climate Action Summit in California.

Here’s a moving op-ed by Archbishop Peter Chong on his decision to divest:

» National Catholic Reporter – 24 September 2018:
Vatican must keep up its clear, inspiring leadership in climate crisis


“Climate change is the tip of the iceberg of a failing system and solving it in conjunction with other crises requires political
courage and efforts that can no longer wait.”

Report: How we can limit rise in global temperatures

CIDSE – an international family of Catholic social justice organisations working together with others in an “International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity” – has published a report that explores how we can limit rise in global temperatures through “a deep and rapid shift in our food and energy systems, supported by structural lifestyle changes.”

CIDSE’s arguments and vision for a new paradigm are based on values such as integral ecology, justice, and good governance, as also defined by Catholic Social Teaching and in the Papal Encyclical Laudato Si’.

» CIDSE – 19 September 2018:
The Climate Urgency: Setting Sail for a New Paradigm

» Download report



What: Pope Francis Laudato Si Information Night

When: Tuesday 6 November 2018 at 6:30 to 8:00pm

Where: The Shirley Mills Plaza Theatre, 150 Yarra Street, Geelong

Why: Because you are concerned about the impacts of climate change and want to know what Catholics can do about it.

No cost: Father Jim has kindly waived costs for the venue hire.

Copies of the Australian interpretation of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si will be available for $5 on the night.


Entrance: Free

» Book your seat on Eventbrite

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The photo is a collage of two photos: Pope Francis was photographed by Nacho Arteaga from Unsplash.com. The clouds hovering over Melbourne as the sun rises were photographed by Nicole Garmston