[PRESS RELEASE] International Catholic Network Launches 2,000 Hour Prayer Chain for Strong Climate Treaty

SEPTEMBER 15, 2015-For IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INTERNATIONAL CATHOLIC NETWORK LAUNCHES 2,000 HOUR PRAYER CHAIN FOR STRONG CLIMATE TREATY

The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) launched a first-of-its-kind online three month prayer chain today called #Pray4cop21. The purpose is get people to pray consistently for 89 days for a strong and ambitious universal climate treaty to be adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) Climate Summit in Paris in December. The prayer chain supports the group’s petition that asks world leaders to keep global average temperatures within 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels. The GCCM will be engaging its global network of over 40,000 Catholic followers to fill over 2,000 1-hour prayer slots from now until the conclusion of the summit on December 11.

According to GCCM co-founder Tomas Insua, “St. Paul says to “Pray without ceasing.” The prayer chain is a concrete and reflective way to bring our spiritual heritage to the urgency of the climate situation and the significance of COP21.”

The group joins Pope Francis in his urgent call to the whole human family to act on the ecological crisis and his calls for moral courage from world leaders at COP21. After last year’s climate summit in Peru, Pope Francis expressed how he “was disappointed by the lack of courage” of the participants and his “hope that in Paris the delegates will be more courageous and will move forward with climate action.”

In addition to praying for a positive outcome from the summit, #Pray4cop21 participants will be praying for communities affected by climate disruption, including the growing number of “climate refugees.” The current migration crisis in Europe is surfacing the role climate related events have in triggering wide-scale crises.

“From Moses to Elijah, Samuel to David, our forefathers and foremothers have appealed to God to save humanity from destruction,” said Bill Patenaude, a co-founder of GCCM and Author of CatholicEcology.net. “The #Pray4cop21 follows in that tradition, believing in the power of prayer to seek God’s mercy, and transform the faithful to be God’s vessels to address the situation.” Bill composed some of the prayers for use in the #Pray4cop21 resource kit.

The #Pray4cop21 online system allows “pray-ers” to choose up to 4 hours of prayer time similar to booking seats on an airline flight. Parishes or religious communities with “perpetual adoration” can register separately to adopt a longer prayer period.

Jacqui Remond, a GCCM co-founder and National Director of Catholic EarthCare in Australia states, “#Pray4cop21 will link together the prayers of believers in every continent, reflecting the truly “Catholic” nature of our Church. The global nature of the climate crisis demands a global response of spiritual and political action.”

Ciara Shannon, a GCCM Co-founder and OurVoices Asia Coordinator said: “To pray for 89 days is a profound way to show solidarity for climate action. The prayer chain has many prayers to follow, often people ask me for direction for the right words to say for climate change action  – you can find all of that within #Pray4cop21”

GCCM aims to support the the Catholic Church’s moral voice on ecological issues, succinctly defined in Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ and his recent speeches.

The prayer chain is the first of its kind online prayer platform and can be accessed at www.CatholicClimateMovement.global/pray4cop21

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Notes for Editor

Founded in January 2015, the GCCM is a coalition of over 180 Catholic organizations working to respond to the moral imperative of the climate change crisis. Further information can be found at http://catholicclimatemovement.global/

For general information contact: Christina Leano at [email protected] +1-786-459-5667

For other queries about GCCM, please contact any of the following representatives:

AFRICA:

Allen Ottaro, Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) – Kenya +254721605830 (cell) | [email protected]

ASIA:

Lou Arsenio, Archdiocese of Manila Ecology Ministry – Philippines

+63 908 869 0211 | [email protected]

Ciara Shannon, Our Voices – Hong Kong

+852 62096775 (cell) | ciarashannon.hk(AT)gmail.com

LATIN AMERICA:

Dr. Pablo Canziani, Red Argentina de Laicos, Acción Católica Argentina, Investigador Principal Conicet

+54-9-11-3582-2279 | [email protected]

Igor Bastos, The Global Catholic Climate Movement

+55 (34) 9242-8692 | [email protected]

OCEANIA:

Jacqui Rémond, Catholic Earthcare Australia

+61 (02) 8907 9500 (office) +61 0413 715 375 (cell) | [email protected]

USA:

Patrick Carolan, Franciscan Action Network

+1-202-527-7565 (office) +1-203-522-2324 (cell) | [email protected]

Bill Patenaude, CatholicEcology.net

+1-401-374-4412 | [email protected]

GLOBAL:

Tomás Insua, Movement Coordinator, GCCM

+49 1523 622 0449 | [email protected]



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