Press Release: Catholics Celebrate the Encyclical Across Continents

June 18, 2015


The release of Pope Francis’s long awaited encyclical on ecology has triggered celebrations in Catholic communities across the globe as it lays out the definitive moral case for climate action. The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) – which represents over 100 Catholic global organizations working on climate justice in all continents – thanks His Holiness, through its statement for his leadership and inspiring message on the importance of caring for creation, protecting human dignity and safeguarding our common home.


The GCCM joins Pope Francis in his call to create a new and universal solidarity that recognises those integral relationships between the social and economic ills of our age. To achieve this universal solidarity–this communion–a new and better paradigm of socio-economic development is necessary, one that is sustainable and includes intergenerational solidarity.


The GCCM regards the encyclical as an urgent call to the whole human family to act on the ecological crisis, so the GCCM today reinforced its climate petition asking world leaders to keep global average temperatures within 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels.  At least 1 million signatures are expected to be handed to world leaders at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21) in early December 2015. The GCCM petition was endorsed by Pope Francis himself a month ago when he met with GCCM representatives in the Vatican.


The encyclical sounds the alarm to the climate crisis the world is facing and shows that once again the Church is willing to lead on one of the greatest moral issues of our time. In thanking Pope Francis for his inspired leadership, the GCCM sincerely thank all bishops who raise awareness on climate change and urge their brother bishops and Catholics of the world to join them.




  • Ciara Shannon, GCCM co-founder and OurVoices Asia Coordinator:
    “At the heart of Laudato Si is an empowering belief in all humanity to work together to safeguard our common home. Pope Francis urges us all to recognise the urgency of the ecological crisis and calls for a change in models of global development –  ‘one world with a common plan’ that recognises that we are all interconnected and in this together – hence the urgent need for dialogue and integral solutions.”


  • Bill Patenaude, GCCM co-founder and author of
    “As a true spiritual father, Pope Francis has forcefully and lovingly reminded his family–and all people of goodwill– that our ecological and social ills are rooted in a broken notion of ourselves and our relationships. Even more, Laudato Si offers us a road map to heal those relationships–to offer peace to each person and healing to the world.”


  • Sister Pat McDermott, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas:

“We welcome Pope Francis’ critique of the current, dominant economic model that prioritizes the market, profit and unharnessed consumption and regards Earth as a resource to be exploited,” says Sister Pat McDermott, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. “We hope that world leaders, at the United Nations Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals in September and international climate talks in Paris in December, will take heed of the Pope’s moral imperative to work for a more just and sustainable world.”


  • Dr. Pablo Canziani, GCCM co-founder and principal investigator of CONICET (the National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina):
    “Environmental policies throughout Latin America are the result of years of local misguided or absent development policies and associated foreign investments that resulted in an extractive economy that includes such practices as mega mining and deforestation.  Pope Francis’ encyclical proposes the necessary and urgent paradigm change that is required not just in the region but globally. We are all asked to change, to make sacrifices for the most vulnerable.  This is necessary so that we may all live.”


  • Allen Ottaro, GCCM co-founder and Director of Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA):
    “Building on the call from his predecessors, Pope Francis draws attention to the plight of the poor among us and our relationship with all of creation. Africa has been waiting for Francis’ message and looks forward to thanking him when he visits Uganda and the Central Africa Republic in November 2015. Young people connected through CYNESA, commit themselves to living the message of Laudato Si, by making it our own.”


  • Tomás Insua, Movement Coordinator of the Global Catholic Climate Movement:
    “This beautiful and urgent call to action from Pope Francis, besides challenging our lifestyles and behaviors, has perfect timing ahead of the COP21 summit. It was Pope Francis himself who said he wanted the encyclical to influence the international climate negotiations, so now it’s time for Catholics and all people of good will to mobilize and remind world leaders of the moral imperative of climate action”


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