Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pope's adviser urges Catholics to join climate marches

I know from experience that being part of peaceful march for a good purpose nourishes the soul.

By Matt McGrath
Nov. 28, 2015

The Pope's closest adviser on ecology has urged Catholics to join global climate marches planned for Sunday.

In an internal letter to bishops, Cardinal Peter Turkson says people should be "encouraged" to exercise their "ecological citizenship".

The letter says that climate negotiators meeting in Paris need to hear the voice of "God's people".


Major demonstrations across the world have been planned to mark the start of the global climate conference, known as COP21.


Over the next two weeks, delegates meeting here are hoping to strike a new, far-reaching deal on climate change.


In his letter to around 5,000 Catholic bishops around the world, the cardinal makes it clear that relying on political leaders to achieve environmental justice is not enough.


He states that more than one million people around the world are likely to take part in climate marches on 29 November.

The marchers will be exercising "global ecological citizenship", he says, and he suggests to the bishops that they "are warmly invited to offer your support in prayer, word and action".

The letter gives contact details for the bishops on how to find out about marches in their diocese.

"If you could please encourage the faithful and many others to exercise their 'ecological citizenship', this would surely help to reinforce the humble and peaceable spirit of Laudato si', and it would spiritually express communion with the universal church," the letter reads.


The Pope has expressed his worries that the negotiating process here in Paris may fail to deliver a global agreement. He said it would be "catastrophic" if global leaders let special interest groups derail the deal.

Speaking in Nairobi earlier this week, the Pope said the world faced a stark choice to either "improve or destroy the environment".


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