During the past week, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) released their annual Social Justice Statement with the theme Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on Climate Change. This concurrent call for action from our Australian Catholic leaders and scientists is fortuitous.
The words of these documents will come as no surprise to those witnessing the effects of climate change – wildfires across the world, sea levels rising, droughts, floods, landslides, and higher rates of animal extinction. Climate Change affects the poorest and most vulnerable disproportionately.
The ACBC’s Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor calls on all Catholics to begin a seven-year journey to total ecological sustainability. The statement reflects on creation in and through the Trinity; the sacramentality of all created things; the wonder and beauty available to the contemplative eye; and the need for conversion and change of life. It calls us to be guided by the seven Laudato Si’ Goals:-
- response to the cry of the earth
- response to the cry of the poor
- ecological economics
- sustainable lifestyles
- ecological spirituality
- ecological education
- community engagement and participatory action
We need to act now.
With two UN conferences in the coming months, this is an ideal opportunity for Catholics worldwide to act out our faith and listen to Pope Francis’ call to care for creation. At the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in October, world leaders can set meaningful targets to protect creation, and in November at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) countries will announce their plans to meet the goals of the Paris agreement.
You are invited to sign the Healthy Planet, Healthy Life Petition today.
Let’s be the change!
By the Sustainability Committee