Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican leaders call climate crisis “devastating injustice”



Pope Francis, Archbishop Justin Welby and Patriarch Bartholomew I issued an unprecedented joint message on Tuesday, calling the climate crisis “d

Sep 10, 2021

Pope Francis, Archbishop Justin Welby and Patriarch Bartholomew I at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, September 20, 2016 (CNA photo / Tiziana Fabi)

On September 7, Pope Francis, Archbishop Justin Welby and Patriarch Bartholomew I issued an unprecedented joint message calling the climate crisis a “devastating injustice.”

The three Christian leaders said there would be “catastrophic consequences” for future generations unless the world took responsibility for the environmental damage.

“The current climate crisis says a lot about who we are and how we view and deal with God’s creation. We stand before a harsh justice: the loss of biodiversity, environmental degradation and climate change are the inevitable consequences of our actions, because we have avidly consumed more of the earth’s resources than the planet can bear ” said their statement, released on September 7.

“But we also face a deep injustice: the people who suffer the most catastrophic consequences of these abuses are the poorest on the planet and have been the least responsible for their origin. ”

“We serve a God of justice, who delights in creation and creates each person in the image of God, but also hears the cry of the poor. As a result, there is an innate call within us to respond with anguish when we see such devastating injustice. ”

The Pope, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the Archbishop of Canterbury signed the joint text on September 1. The message brought together the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion, respectively the largest, second and third largest Christian communions in the world.

“As leaders of our churches, we call on everyone, regardless of belief or worldview, to strive to listen to the cry of the earth and of the poor, examining their behavior and promising meaningful sacrifices. for the love of the land that God gave us, ”wrote the three men.

The joint statement highlighted the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from November 1-12.

“As world leaders prepare to meet in Glasgow in November to deliberate on the future of our planet, we pray for them and reflect on the choices we all need to make,” he said.

In their common message, the Pope, the Patriarch and the Archbishop declared: “In our common Christian tradition, the Scriptures and the Saints offer enlightening perspectives for understanding both the realities of the present and the promise of something more. great than what we are seeing right now. ”

“The concept of stewardship – of individual and collective responsibility for our divine endowment – presents a vital starting point for social, economic and environmental sustainability.

They concluded: “All of us, whoever and wherever we are, can play a role in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and environmental degradation. Caring for God’s creation is a spiritual mission that requires a committed response.

“This is a critical moment. The future of our children and the future of our common home depend on it. CNA



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