VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis and dozens of religious leaders today signed a joint appeal to governments to commit to ambitious targets at the upcoming U.N. climate conference, while promising to do their own part to lead their church members into more sustainable pro-environmentalism behavior.
“We have inherited a garden; we must not leave a desert to our children,” said the appeal, which was signed at a formal ceremony in the Apostolic Palace before being handed over to the head of the COP26 conference, Alok Sharma.
For the religious leaders, care for the environment is a moral imperative to preserve God’s creation for future generations and to support communities most vulnerable to climate change.
It’s an argument Francis has made repeatedly and most comprehensively in a 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si” and was echoed Monday by imams, rabbis, patriarchs and reverends who shared how their faith traditions interpreted the call, many of them insisting that faith and science must listen to each other to save the planet.
“Faith and Science: An Appeal for COP26” is the latest initiative to rally momentum and outrage ahead of the Oct. 31-Nov. 12 summit in Glasgow, Scotland that experts say is a make-or-break chance to curb greenhouse gas emissions. It follows a youth climate summit in Milan last week and an earlier appeal by three Christian leaders: Francis, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. There were Adventist youth present at the youth climate summit in Milan, unsurprising since many of our leaders in the SDA Church have already joined the radical environmentalists in this green fervor.
Here are some links:
Most of the above links are evidences of SDA church leaders who wish to be seen as ‘relevant.’
The meeting at the Vatican today was joined by leaders of other major faith groups representing Sunni and Shiite Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Jainism, Sikhism and others.
The Glasgow summit aims to secure more aggressive commitments to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius with a goal of keeping it to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. The event also is focused on mobilizing financing.
The Vatican event was jointly organized by the Holy See and the two countries leading the push ahead of the Glasgow summit: host Britain and Italy, which currently heads the Group of 20. The appeal was crafted over months of discussions among religious leaders and scientists. Note that.
Bishop Frederick Shoo, president of the Lutheran Church of Tanzania, quoted Martin Luther in describing his vocation to plant trees on Mount Kilimanjaro that has earned him the nickname of the “tree bishop.”
“Even if I knew I would die tomorrow … I would plant a tree today,” Shoo said, paraphrasing the 16th century Luther who broke away from the Catholic Church.
Already, some are pressing for climate lockdowns patterned after Covid-19 lockdowns. We will be observing the November 1 Climate Summit in Glasgow and report on any developments. The potential is great for prophetic developments.
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