Future generations will never forgive us if we miss the opportunity to protect our common home. We have inherited a garden; we must not leave a desert for our children.
(This quote is lifted from a joint appeal signed at the Vatican October 4 , 2023 – the feast of St. Francis of Assisi and the close of the Season of Creation. The appeal was signed by Pope Francis, a son of Argentina and Bishop of Rome, Italy, and about 40 other faith leaders, calling on world governments to set climate targets and take “urgent, radical, and responsible action.” It emphasizes the severity and depth of our climate crisis, and the need for immediate and bold action to care for our common home. In his statement to close the 2023 Season of Creation, Pope Francis called on Christians and their communities to address the climate crisis by listening to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor and “pledging meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the Earth which God has given us.”)
Good and creating God, may we be ever mindful of the universal call to action supported by Pope Francis’ and all faith leaders who stand together as advocates for responsible action to address environmental concerns such as these:
· If global temperatures rise above 2 degrees Celsius, the icecaps of Greenland and a large part of Antarctica, will melt completely, with immensely grave consequences for everyone.
· Recognition that Africa, home to more than half of the world’s poorest people, is responsible for a minimal portion of historic carbon emissions that provoke climate change.
· How can every member of the global community support care for creation when the United Arab Emirates hosts the next Conference of the Parties (COP28) later this fall?
· Emissions per individual in the United States are about two times greater than those of individuals living in China, and about seven times greater than the average of the poorest countries.
Once and for all, God of heaven and earth, move us to put an end to the irresponsible derision that would present this issue as something purely ecological, “green,” romantic, frequently subject to ridicule by economic interests. Grant us the conviction to commit ourselves to a future shaped by interdependence and co-responsibility for all creation. Amen.