The Catholic Church has a strong stated environmental position. In 2001 Pope John Paul II called for Catholics to avoid ecological ‘catastrophe’ and emphasised that ‘we must therefore stimulate and sustain the ecological conversion’. In Australia, the Bishops' Commission for Justice and Development (BCJD) has established an agency called Catholic Earthcare Australia with the mission of advising, supporting and assisting the BCJD in responding to Pope John Paul II's call throughout the Catholic Church in Australia and beyond.

Pope Benedict XVI also established his position in relation to humanity and the environment, appealing to ‘Christian communities, international leaders and people of good will throughout the world’ as part of his 2010 World Peace Day Address If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation - to understand the need to protect the Earth and the environment, describing the relationship between human beings and the environment as a ‘covenant’ that should mirror the creation of God.

More recently, newly elected Pope Francis made a call to protect the environment and the world's poor. At his inauguration Pope Francis said "I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: Let us be protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment”. He went on to call people to respect nature. "In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it," he said. "Be protectors of God's gifts."

For more information see the Catholic Climate Coalition page on Laudato Si.

 

Page last updated on 28/01/2020

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