Pope Francis has published a Message for the sixth “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” on the theme this year of “Jubilee for the Earth”.
The Holy Father is delighted that “faith communities are coming together to create a more just, peaceful and sustainable world” and that “the Season of Creation is becoming a truly ecumenical initiative”.
The decision to institute the Day was announced by Pope Francis in a letter of 6 August 2015 to Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and to Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
In this letter, the Holy Father stated that he shared with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew “the same concern for the future of creation”, and that he welcomed the suggestion of his representative, Metropolitan John of Pergamum, to celebrate this day on the same date as the Orthodox Church. “The celebration of this Day, on the same date as the Orthodox Church, will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our Orthodox brothers and sisters. We live at a time when all Christians are faced with the same decisive challenges, to which we must respond together, in order to be more credible and effective”, wrote Pope Francis.
In the same letter Pope Francis asked Cardinal Koch to make the necessary contacts with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and to ensure coordination with similar initiatives undertaken by the World Council of Churches “so that this World Day can serve as a sign of a common journey in which all believers in Christ take part”.
Background image: Creation, Donald Jackson with contributions from Chris Tomlin, ©2003, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA. Used with permission. All rights reserved.