Today, January 14, Catholic organizations and leaders throughout the world have announced their collaboration as a movement working toward a sustainable climate future. Comprised of laity and clergy, theologians, scientists and activists, the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) released a statement containing their beliefs and mission. The statement supports Catholic environmental teachings and calls for prayer and action among the world’s Catholic population, making it the first time that such a global movement of Catholics gathers to work together on climate issues.
The GCCM launch coincides with the trip of Pope Francis to the Philippines this week where he will meet survivors of super typhoon Haiyan, which is considered to be related to climate change. Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, will present the movement and its statement to Pope Francis in Manila.
Lou Arsenio, who is the Ecology Ministry coordinator at the Archdiocese of Manila and a founding member of the GCCM, explained: “The movement plans to promote networking and sharing of information on climate change among Catholic organizations across national borders, to enhance a greater understanding of Catholic teaching on care of God’s creation, and to respond to Pope Francis’ and other church leaders’ concern about climate change. We invite all Catholic individuals and organizations to join this effort, both to raise awareness about this important issue and to act within the public sphere.”
This announcement takes place at a time when the Catholic community is expecting the upcoming encyclical about ecology, which will spark a lot of interest among the laity to reflect on our relationship with God’s creation and its relationship with social issues.