Catholic World News

Prelates press for action at Paris conference on climate change

October 26, 2015

A group of Catholic prelates from around the world has joined in a plea for action on climate change at the international conference that will be held in Paris beginning November 30.

At a Vatican conference on October 26, co-sponsored by Caritas International and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the prelates’ appeal was signed by representatives of bishops’ conferences from Asia, Europe, Latin American, southern Africa, Oceania, Canada, and the US.

The prelates cite the statement by Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si’, that climate change “represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity today.” It is a “question of fidelity to the Creator,” they argue, calling for “a major breakthrough in Paris” to enact policy changes that will address the crisis.

Taking a clear stand on the scientific argument about climate change, the bishops write:

Reliable scientific evidence suggests that accelerated climate change is the result of unrestrained human activity, working to a particular model of progress and development, and that excessive reliance on fossil fuels is primarily responsible. The Pope and Catholic Bishops from five continents, sensitive to the damage caused, appeal for a drastic reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide and other toxic gases.

The document was signed by Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India, for the Asian bishops; Cardinals Peter Erdo of Budapest and Reinhard Marx of Munich for European bishops; Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota for Latin American bishops; Archbishop Gabriel Mbilingi of Lubango, Angola, for the bishops’ conference of southern Africa; Archbishop John Ribat of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, for Oceania; Bishop David Crosby of Hamilton, Ontario, for the Canadian bishops; and Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville for the US bishops’ conference.


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Further information:
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Bernadette - Oct. 28, 2015 1:42 PM ET USA

    Balderdash! More is made of so-called "climate change" than on the cultural, immoral issues facing the families of the world. Concentrate on families, the basic cell of society and any problems with the environment will be cleared up - good, intact families with caring and good parents will teach their children how to care for the environment plus lots more!

  • Posted by: polish.pinecone4371 - Oct. 26, 2015 11:39 PM ET USA

    I wish the prelates would stick their areas of competency -- faith and morals. The science of fossil fuels and the climate is not part of that as evidenced by this statement: "To strongly limit a global temperature increase and to set a goal for complete decarbonisation by mid-century." "Complete decarbonisation" would mean the complete annihilation of all life on this planet since all life, to one extent or another, depends on carbon for its very existence.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Oct. 26, 2015 10:19 PM ET USA

    One more thing we can ignore as it is not binding on the faithful.

  • Posted by: aclune9083 - Oct. 26, 2015 7:18 PM ET USA

    The Pope and the advisers who prepared his position on anthropogenic climate change have either ignored or discounted the significant and growing body of scientific data that refutes the position that the current natural cycle of global warming has been accelerated by human activity, that global warming in itself is harmful to life on the planet, and that modifying human activity to reduce global warming will alter the natural cycle.