By Tom McKay 6 hours ago
One of the world’s most important spiritual leaders has a message for the world.
The Guardian reports that Pope Francis has a hefty New Year’s resolution: organize a massive push by the Catholic Church to fight climate change.
The pontiff will apparently “issue a lengthy message on the subject to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, give an address to the U.N. General Assembly and call a summit of the world’s main religions” in an effort to unify the religious community against climate change.
The plan: Pontifical Academy of Sciences chancellor Bishop Marcelo Sorondo told the Guardian that the pope wants to influence the course of the 2015 U.N. climate meeting in Paris, the culmination of 20 years of emissions negotiations.
“Our academics supported the pope’s initiative to influence next year’s crucial decisions,” the Guardian reports
Sorondo telling the Catholic development agency Cafod. “The idea is to convene a meeting with leaders of the main religions to make all people aware of the state of our climate and the tragedy of social exclusion.”
The church is taking important steps: The pope has spoken extensively on climate change before, saying humans have a responsibility not to destroy God’s creations for future generations.
“Safeguard creation,” he told a crowd in Rome in May. “Because if we destroy creation, creation will destroy us!” Around the same time, the Vatican hosted a large-scale summit on sustainability that drew connections between unsustainable environmental practices and economic injustice.
“growing concern that such human-influenced changes to the Earth’s climate could have negative effects on human societies and on the Earth’s ecosystems and therefore that these changes should be avoided or slowed.”