VATICAN CITY, Sept 7 (Reuters) – The world’s top three Christian leaders issued an unprecedented joint appeal to members of their Churches to “listen to the call of the earth” and reverse action to curb the effects of climate change.
In “A Common Message for the Protection of Creation,” Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew urged Christians to pray for world leaders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. make bold choices.
“We call on all, regardless of their faith or worldview, to strive to hear the cry of the earth and of the poor, to examine their conduct, and to promise meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth which the Lord has given us. , “said the message.
Francis presides over the 1.3 billion-member Roman Catholic Church, Bartholomew is the spiritual leader of some 220 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, and Welby is the world’s top bishop of Anglican Communion, which has about 85 million members.
All three have been very active on environmental issues and agree that climate change and global warming are caused at least in part by human activities, such as the use of fossil fuels.
“We stand before a harsh justice: the loss of biodiversity, environmental degradation and climate change are the inevitable consequences of our actions, as we have greedily consumed more of the earth’s resources than the planet can endure,” the message said.
She said recent extreme weather events, natural disasters, floods, fires, droughts and rising sea levels have shown that “climate change is not just a challenge in the future, but an immediate and urgent matter of survival”. .
Europe had its warmest summer recorded this year, albeit only slightly above the previous two highest temperatures for June-August, European Union scientists said on Tuesday, and green groups called for the COP26 conference to be postponed. Read more
Typically, delegates from more than 190 countries attend the annual talks, but with many countries facing COVID-19 and poorer nations struggling to get vaccinated, it should be delayed, the Climate Action Network said. (CAN).
Bishops of Scotland have said Pope Francis, who underwent bowel surgery in July, will attend the Glasgow conference if his health allows. Read more
A Welby spokeswoman said he would attend. Bartholomew’s office did not immediately respond to an email about his plans.
On October 4, the Vatican will host a large gathering of world religious leaders and scholars to take a common stance to raise stakes ahead of the Glasgow conference.
Named “Faith and Science: Towards COP26”, it is being organized by Britain and Italy. It will bring together about 40 leaders from the world’s major religions and 10 scientists.
Reporting by Philip Pullella Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky
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