Catholic Earthcare Media Release: February 17, 2015
Catholic Earthcare Australia, as part of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), announced today that more than 45 countries will take part in a 40-day Lenten fast for climate justice. The fast will take place from Ash Wednesday (February 18) to March 28, with different countries leading the fast on different days of Lent. Australia will be leading the Lenten fast on March 17.
Participants in the fast are praying for unity on climate change within the Catholic Church, and asking world leaders to take all steps possible to meet the goal of a global temperature increase of less than 1.5 degrees Celsius (relative to pre-industrial levels), by means that include a fair, ambitious and legally binding global agreement in the COP 21 summit in Paris.
Catholic Earthcare and the GCCM would like to encourage the Australian Catholiccommunity to join the fast on March 17. On this day, participants are urged to fast fromeither food (for example missing one or two meals), and/or from carbon (by taking alternative transport such as walking, biking or public transport, or by cutting personal or organisational energy consumption).
The movement chose fasting for its first worldwide action because, “Pope Francis made it clear from the start that all people need to act as ‘protectors of creation.’ We encourage Catholics around the world to unite, pray and fast in solidarity with those who are most affected by the changing global climate,” stated Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of the U.S. based Franciscan Action Network.
Yeb Saño, who is the Climate Commissioner from the Philippines who captured the world’s attention with his own fast during U.N. meetings following Typhoon Haiyan, said: “The power behind fasting lies in its purity of purpose and the sense of selflessness necessary to embark on fasting. This is the power of the fast—because it is meant for our aspirations of a better world.”
Jacqui Rémond, Director of Catholic Earthcare Australia added: “ This Lent we would like to invite all Australians to participate in the Lenten fast, and take a moment to reflect on where we are in relation to the global carbon negations. We all need to recognise that we have an important contribution to make, as we stand together in solidarity with God’s Creation.”
The GCCM 40 day Climate Justice Fast is part of the 365 day #FASTFORTHECLIMATE which has been happening since the 1st of December 2014 the start of COP20 in Lima, and will continue until the 30th of November 2015 at the beginning of COP21 in Paris. The GCCM Climate Justice Fast is also run in collaboration with the Green Anglicans Carbon Fast, Our Voices Climate Fast.