It’s not only politicians who are speaking out about fighting climate change, now Pope Francis is calling on a higher power to unleash “prophetic actions” to spur world governments into taking “drastic actions” to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions in order to decrease global warming.
Pope Francis issues statement on climate change
Last Sunday, Pope Francis issued a new message on climate change. He is urging nations of the world to work together to bring the average global temperature from back to pre-industrial levels.
“From habitable land to life-giving waters, from fruit-bearing trees to animals that share our common home, everything is dear in the eyes of God, who offers creation to men and women as a precious gift to be preserved,” Pope Francis wrote in his World Day of Prayer for the Care Of Creation. “Tragically, the human response to this gift has been marked by sin, selfishness and a greedy desire to possess and exploit.
Egoism and self-interest have turned creation, a place of encounter and sharing, into an arena of competition and conflict. In this way, the environment itself is endangered: something good in God’s eyes has become something to be exploited in human hands.”
“Season for undertaking prophetic actions”
“This too is a season for undertaking prophetic actions. Many young people all over the world are making their voices heard and calling for courageous decisions,” Pope Francis wrote. “Our prayers and appeals are directed first at raising the awareness of political and civil leaders. I think in particular of those governments that will meet in coming months to renew commitments decisive for directing the planet towards life, not death.”
“The words that Moses proclaimed to the people as a kind of spiritual testament at the threshold of the Promised Land come to mind: “Therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live” (Dt 3:19),” the Pope added. “We can apply those prophetic words to ourselves and to the situation of our earth.”
“May God… grant us courage”
“Let us inaugurate farsighted processes involving responsible sacrifices today for the sake of sure prospects for life tomorrow. Let us not give in to the perverse logic of quick profit, but look instead to our common future!” Pope Francis wrote.
“May we feel challenged to assume, with prayer and commitment, our responsibility for the care of creation. May God, “the lover of life” (Wis 11:26), grant us the courage to do good without waiting for someone else to begin, or until it is too late.”
Previous popes also spoke out about climate change
Pope Francis is not the first pontiff to speak out about the environment. His predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI both issued a number of noteworthy statements in which they sounded the alarm over the concerning changes that were occurring to the Earth’s environment.
Pope John Paul took the approach of casting environmental changes in the same light as Original Sin.
“Instead, they destroyed the existing harmony by deliberately going against the Creator’s plan, that is, by choosing to sin. This resulted not only in man’s alienation from himself, in death and fratricide, but also in the earth’s “rebellion” against him,” Pope John Paul II said in a 1990 message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace.
Similarly, Pope Benedict XVI, in his World Day of Peace message in 2010, wrote: “The harmony between the Creator, mankind and the created world, as described by Sacred Scripture, was disrupted by the sin of Adam and Eve, by man and woman, who wanted to take the place of God and refused to acknowledge that they were his creatures.”