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Encyclical on ecology will appear this year, 'a critical year for humanity,' Vatican cardinal says

March 05, 2015

A forthcoming papal encyclical on the environment will be published during “a critical year for humanity,” the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace told an Irish audience.

Speaking on March 5 at St. Patrick’s seminary in Maynooth, Cardinal Peter Turkson said that 2015 will be a vital year for discussions and decisions regarding the environment and global inequality: issues that he said are closely related. He noted UN conferences scheduled this year that will address those issues, as well as the December conference on climate change that will take place in Paris. Cardinal Turkson reminded his audience that Pope Francis, in calling for preservation of the environment, is echoing the messages of his predecessors, St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. “For the Christian,” he said, “to care for God’s ongoing work of creation is a duty, irrespective of the causes of climate change.”

While he said that international agreements are needed to address the causes of environmental damage, the Ghanaian cardinal said that political accords “are unlikely to prove effective without moral conversion and a change of heart.” He said that Catholics should “become artisans of the revolution of tenderness” to bring about that change.


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  • Posted by: filioque - Mar. 06, 2015 12:51 AM ET USA

    Well, of course we should be good stewards of the environment. But Pope Francis has already announced that he wants his encyclical to influence and encourage the December meeting in Paris, the sole purpose of which is to hammer out an international agreement to limit carbon emissions. It is foolish because human carbon dioxide has insignificant impact on climate, but limiting fuels will have disastrous impact on people who are trying to rise from poverty. Does he understand that?