As we stand at this critical juncture, his holiness Pope Francis has released an encyclical — the highest form of teaching by the Catholic Church – that focuses solely on our relationships with the environment. More than just a theological statement though, it is an awakening for the world to understand how climate change impacts people all over the world, especially the poor. With humanity’s exploitation of the planet’s resources, the world faces ruin without a revolution in hearts and minds. In the Pope’s view, an ethical and economic shift is urgently needed in order to prevent catastrophic climate change and growing inequality. The moral imperative for climate action is true for people of all faiths, from all corners of the world.
Humanity needs to stand united in addressing the crisis of our times. Climate change is not just an issue for scientists, politicians and activists – but for everyone with an ethical conscience.
World leaders of all dispositions should find inspiration in his words and similarly lead calls for action. The clear path required to address the climate crisis is one that breaks humanity free from the current stranglehold of fossil fuels on our lives and the planet. This encyclical reinforces the tectonic shift that is happening, we simply cannot continue to treat the Earth as a tool for exploitation.
In response to Pope Francis encyclical, faith and environmental groups are organizing a march in Rome on June 28.
Pope Francis’ encyclical could be a turning point for global climate action, especially if it involves more than Catholics – but everyone. We need all faith leaders to back the moral urgency of climate action. No matter your religious background, will you ask your church or religious leaders to join this global call? Here is some sample social media text you can use and adapt:
Dear [insert Twitter handle of your church/leader] will you join Pope Francis and speak out about the moral urgency of climate action? #PraisedBe
You can also add this image — Click here to download.
You can also just share on your social media.
Already over 45 churches and religious groups have divested from fossil fuels. You can start a campaign in your own community. If it’s wrong to wreck the planet, then it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.
Sign up and we will send you the information you need:
“Every effort to protect and improve our world entails profound changes in “lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern societies”.”
“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades.”
”In different ways, developing countries, where the most important reserves of the biosphere are found, continue to fuel the development of richer countries at the cost of their own present and future.”
“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.”
“Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
“We all know that it is not possible to sustain the present level of consumption in developed countries and wealthier sectors of society, where the habit of wasting and discarding has reached unprecedented levels. The exploitation of the planet has already exceeded acceptable limits and we still have not solved the problem of poverty.”
“Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years.”
“There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy.”
”We need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair.“
“An interdependent world not only makes us more conscious of the negative effects of certain lifestyles and models of production and consumption which affect us all; more importantly, it motivates us to ensure that solutions are proposed from a global perspective, and not simply to defend the interests of a few countries. Interdependence obliges us to think of one worldwith a common plan.”
“There are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected.”
“In some places, cooperatives are being developed to exploit renewable sources of energy which ensure local self-sufficiency and even the sale of surplus energy. This simple example shows that, while the existing world order proves powerless to assume its responsibilities, local individuals and groups can make a real difference.”
“Some scientists believe climate change is the cause of unprecedented melting of the North Pole, and that effects these very uncertain weather patterns. I think we should listen to those scientists and expert.”
“Mankind has the right to enjoy the blessings of the earth and its resources. However, keeping in mind the Islamic worldview, we have no right to benefit from these blessings by exploiting that of others or future generations. If we take good care of the environment, we will be rewarded with goodness, but if we abuse the environment and leave it to ruin, we will meet a frightful end.”
“This ancient warning heard by one indigenous people in one slender land has now become a crisis of our planet as a whole and of the entire human species. Human behavior that overworks the Earth – especially the over burning of fossil fuels — crests in a systemic planetary response that endangers human communities and many other life-forms as well…As Jews, we ask the question whether the sources of traditional Jewish wisdom can offer guidance to our political efforts to prevent disaster and heal our relationship with the Earth. Our first and most basic wisdom is expressed in the Sh’ma and is underlined in the teaching that through Shekhinah the Divine presence dwells within as well as beyond the world. The Unity of all means not only that all life is interwoven, but also that an aspect of God’s Self partakes in the interwovenness.”
“Our beloved Earth, so touchingly looked upon as the Universal Mother, has nurtured mankind through millions of years of growth and evolution. Now centuries of rapacious exploitation of the planet have caught up with us, and a radical change in our relationship with nature is no longer an option. It is a matter of survival. We cannot continue to destroy nature without also destroying ourselves. The dire problems besetting our world—war, disease, poverty and hunger—will all be magnified many fold by the predicted impacts of climate change.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2015
VATICAN CITY — 350.org Executive Director, May Boeve, issued the following statement on the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment:
“The Pope’s moral call to action is crystal clear: it’s time to move away from fossil fuels and towards a clean energy future. By putting the climate crisis in spiritual and moral terms, Pope Francis has focused a spotlight on the ethical and economic shift we urgently need in order to prevent catastrophic climate change and tackle growing inequality. There’s no doubt this letter will add momentum to the millions of institutions, elected officials, and people across our planet calling for action on climate change. Today, it’s clearer than ever that the end of the fossil fuel era is upon us — and so too, we hope, the end of the era of rising poverty and inequality. The Pope’s call only hastens our transition to a clean energy future, adding even more momentum to the fast-growing movement to divest from fossil fuels”.
CONTACT: Hoda Baraka, 350.org Global Communications Manager, +201001840990, email@example.com