“We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels … needs to be progressively replaced without delay”
Pope Francis is crystal clear that the current development model based on the intensive use of coal, oil and even natural gas, must end. In its place we need renewable energy options and new modes of production and consumption that combat global warming. This is precisely what a growing movement of students, faith communities, socially responsible investors and everyday citizens are calling on individuals and private and public institutions to do: Divest their money from fossil fuels and invest it in climate solutions like wind, solar, and energy efficiency.
In the words of the Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, “Investing in fossil fuel companies and in eco-destructive projects is synonymous with supporting the destruction of our future. Divestment provides the means to change this status quo – to shift towards a system that will prioritize the welfare of the people and of nature over the relentless pursuit of profit.”
Many leaders have responded, with institutions like the Unitarian Universalists, the United Church of Christ, The Church of England, the World Council of Churches and recently the World Lutheran Federation committing to fossil fuel divestment. In June, the University of Dayton became the first Catholic University to divest.
The tide is turning. Now it’s time to divest the Vatican.
With the ear of 1.2 billion Catholics and the respect of Christians and non-Christians alike, Pope Francis is uniquely positioned to add both his voice and the unique moral power of his office to the divestment movement.
With the encyclical Pope Francis has chosen to stand with the people who fight for justice and a sustainable planet. He understands the moral imperative of caring for creation. He understands that if we do nothing, then the impacts of climate change will be horrific, and will fall hardest on the world’s most vulnerable people. He gets that humans are responsible for protecting the planet — and ourselves.
We believe that Pope Francis will take the right action and direct the Vatican bank to divest.
However, by starting a divestment campaign in your Catholic diocese, university, school, hospital or other institution you will be helping to build momentum for Pope Francis to divest the Vatican. Every Catholic institution that commits to divest will also send one of the most powerful moral signals yet that the age of fossil fuels is coming to an end.
Starting a divestment campaign is easier than you might think, and we have all the resources you need to get started. Find out more about how to start your campaign below.
Divestment is a key way to be consistent with Pope Francis’ call.