[PRESS RELEASE] Thousands of Catholics Join Pope Francis for Global Climate March

-FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-

DECEMBER 1, 2015

The past weekend, tens of thousands of members of the Global Catholic Climate Movement participated in the Global Climate March around the world. Carrying banners and signs that read ‘Hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor,’ they endeavored to put Laudato Si into action and showcase the moral imperative of taking action on climate change.

Cardinal Hummes acknowledged these efforts in an Op-Ed that was published on Sunday, “Here [Paris] and around the globe, in interfaith and secular events including today’s massive Global Climate Marches, Catholic climate activists are holding hands with their brothers and sisters from many faith communities – including other Christian denominations, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and so many others. From Sao Paulo to Berlin, from London to Manila, together they cry out for the planet, for the poor and the indigenous, and for future generations so that the world may know peace.”

Here are some highlights:

  • Cardinal Hummes delivered the Pope’s shoes in the “Shoes March” in Paris. See pictures and story of Cardinal Hummes with the Pope’s shoes.
  • Beautiful, colorful, festive marches took place in more than a dozen cities in the Philippines with thousands of Catholics, most often preceded in the wee hours of the morning by a mass.
  • In the small Amazonian town of Tena, Ecuador, 200 people came out in the streets to speak with one voice on the importance of preserving their beautiful homeland – the Amazonian rainforest basin – for all generations and all people.
  • The British Catholic community joined a massive march of over 50,000 people in London, led by the Catholic charitable organization CAFOD.
  • In Lahore, Pakistan, a GCCM partner of Islamic faith lead an Interfaith prayer vigil by candlelight leading people of multiple faiths to pray for peace and solidarity.
  • In the tiniest state in the United States, marchers in Westerly, Rhode Island led by Madeline Labriola, a retired religious, marched to six churches of different denominations, stopping and praying for peace and the COP21 at each one.
  • In Jakarta, Indonesia, Father Paulus Rahmat led 3,000 marchers wearing face masks to emphasize the need to care for the air we breath, water we drink and atmosphere that surrounds us.

Quotes from GCCM partners on the Global Climate March:

“When one works with the poor and marginalised in society you find that there are multiple challenges that people face and climate change is a major contributor to social challenges. Catholics are working together with the poor and marginalised in hard to reach communities addressing various social issues and on the climate change crisis, trying to find a balance in creating a world where you live in harmony in nature and with each other.”

Kevin Roussell, Executive Director, Catholic Welfare and Development, South Africa

“Climate change truly is, as Pope Francis says in Laudato si’, “one of the principal challenges facing humanity”. On the eve of the Paris climate talks, the Catholic community has come together in global solidarity for the poor to call on world leaders to take stronger climate action to care for our common home, Mother Earth.”

Jacqui Rémond, National Director, Catholic Earthcare Australia

“The earth, our common home “is like a sister with whom we share our life, and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us,” writes Pope Francis. Hence, we the Catholic Community are united worldwide through Climate Petition signature for world leaders in Paris and by joining the Global Climate March in all major cities around the world to protect our ‘common home’ from further destruction by climate change.”

Dr. Benedict Alo D’Rozario, Executive Director, Caritas Bangladesh

“COP21 is a crucial moment to take a historic decision for the sake of the earth as our common home and mankind from destruction due to global climate change. We are responding positively to Pope Francis’ appeal to act and in solidarity with the Global Catholic Climate Movement and all people of goodwill as one human family.”

Fr. Paul Rahmat, Catholic Movement for Environment, Jakarta, Indonesia

“I have taken the initiative to organize a Global Climate March in my beautiful city of Tena because I consider it important to understand and publicize the true message of Pope Francis for the care of creation….Life in this Amazon paradise inspires us to take care and protect our forests, our grand rivers and the life of all its creatures – the flowers, the hummingbirds, the tapirs.  I want a live and vibrant Amazon to share with the world. In the name of God, I will defend Mother Earth.”

Lucy Urvina, Pastoral Social Cáritas Ecuador

“As Pope Francis well reminds us, climate change is a profound moral crisis and a matter of justice towards the poor and future generations. That is why the Catholic community is mobilizing at a massive scale demanding climate justice, by collecting more than 600,000 Catholic Climate Petition signatures for world leaders in Paris and by joining the Global Climate March in all major cities around the world.”

Tomás Insua, Global Coordinator, Global Catholic Climate Movement

#END#

—————————————–Notes for the Editor——————————————-

Pictures and update of Catholics in the Global Climate March are available here:

http://catholicclimatemovement.global/global-climate-march/updates/

Founded in January 2015, the Global Catholic Climate Movement is a coalition of over 280 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 region-specific 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

EUROPE:

Brother Benedict Ayodi, Capuchin Franciscans – Curia Generale (Italy)
+393347948970 | jpic(AT)ofmcap.org
Gabriel López Santamaría, Pazybien.es (Spain)
+34 691907261 | gabriel(AT)pazybien.es

 

LATIN AMERICA:

Fabián Campos, Movimiento Católico Mundial por el Clima

+593 993790762 | [email protected]

Igor Bastos, Movimento Católico Global pelo Clima

+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, Global Catholic Climate Movement

+1 857 272 8775 | [email protected]



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