Today marks the launch of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), an international coalition of Catholic organisations and leaders committed to a sustainable climate future. At the launch, the group released a statement underpinned by Catholic teachings and calling for prayer and action among the world’s Catholic population to work together on climate issues. Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, will present the statement to Pope Francis during his trip in the Philippines this week.
The coalition is comprised of laity and clergy, theologians, scientists and activists from around the world. This is the first time such a diverse global movement of Catholics have joined forces to work together on climate issues. All are united by their Catholic faith, commitment to climate change issues and a shared sense of responsibility to care for God’s life-giving Creation. Australia is represented by Catholic Earthcare Australia, the ecological agency of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
According Dr. Pablo Canziani, a climate scientist from Argentina participating in the GCCM: “Conversations about the climate crisis have historically been more about intellectual arguments than about the profound spiritual and moral implications of our failure to care for God’s Creation.” The coalition hopes to highlight the spiritual and moral imperatives to act on climate change in everyday life, and encourage Catholics to support a growing international climate movement that builds towards a significant global agreement in December 2015 and beyond.
This global movement also highlights the need for Catholics to take action at a local level. Jacqui Rémond, Director of Catholic Earthcare Australia, believes all Australian Catholics have an important role to play in combating climate change. Jacqui said: “Over 25% of the Australian population are Catholic, which means our faith-group has the power and the heart to make a real impact on climate change issues. We would like to invite all Australian Catholics to explore the issues of climate change and take action today, at this most critical time, by joining this new movement. We are all part of this fragile Earth community and so it makes sense to participate with Catholics from around the world for peace and ecological solidarity.”
The GCCM launch coincides with the trip of Pope Francis to the Philippines where he will meet survivors of super typhoon Haiyan (considered to be related to climate change), and takes place at a time when the Catholic community is eagerly awaiting the forthcoming encyclical on ecology.
The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM): Launched in Australia on January 15, with the statement presented to Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines.
- Further information and FAQ’s can be found at http://catholicclimatemovement.global/
- The full statement is available at http://catholicclimatemovement.global/our-statement/
Founding GCCM members include: Catholic Earthcare Australia, Franciscan Action Network, Dan Misleh of the US Catholic Climate Covenant, Acción Católica Argentina, Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa, Archdiocese of Manila Ecology Ministry, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, EcoJesuit, Reconciliation with Creation, Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific, CatholicEcology.net, Our Voices.
GCCM endorsers include: Catholic E darthcare Australia; Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (Australia); Franciscan Friars of the Province of the Holy Spirit (Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia); Missionary Society of St Columban (Australia); Franciscan Action Network (USA); Acción Católica Argentina (Argentina); Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (Africa); Archdiocese of Manila Ecology Ministry (Philippines); Franciscans International; Jesuit European Social Centre (Europe); Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach (USA); EcoJesuit (Asia/Europe); Reconciliation with Creation, Jesuit Conference Asia Pacific (Asia); CatholicEcology.net (USA); Ciara Shannon, Our Voices (China); Jeffry Odell Korgen, Our Voices and GreenFaith (USA); Dan Misleh, Catholic Climate Covenant (USA); Dr. Pablo Canziani, miembro Red Argentina de Laicos, referente Acción Católica Argentina, Investigador Principal Conicet (Argentina); Dr. Tobias Winright, Saint Louis University (USA); Dr. Celia Deane Drummond, University of Notre Dame (USA); Dr. Charles Camosy, Fordham University (USA); Dr. Holly Taylor Coolman, Providence College (USA); John Berkman, Regis College, University of Toronto (USA); Dr. Erin Lothes, College of Saint Elizabeth (USA); Lindo Lío (Argentina); Columban Missionary Society, Philippine Region (Philippines); Leadership Conference of Women Religious (USA); Catholic Rural Life (USA); Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Institute Leadership Team (USA); EDiPA Equipo Diocesano de Pastoral Ambiental, Obispado de San Isidro (Argentina); English Speaking Conference of the Order of Friars Minor; Catholic Charities (USA).