In a “Joint Message for the Protection of Creation” issued to mark the 2021 Season of Creation (from 1 September to 4 October), Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, and Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury stress the importance of cooperation and sustainability over short-term advantages as the essential aspects of the response of humanity to the threat of climate change and environmental degradation.
In the Joint Message the leaders affirm that in facing this worldwide crisis, “no one is safe until everyone is safe,” because “our actions really do affect one another,” and “what we do today affects what happens tomorrow.” The leaders affirm that the crisis also presents “an opportunity to pray and care for God’s creation” and “an opportunity for conversion and transformation”.
The message invites all people, regardless of belief or worldview, to “endeavour to listen to the cry of the earth and of people who are poor”. In this regard, “Christian tradition, the scriptures and the saints provide illuminating perspectives for comprehending both the realities of the present and the promise of something larger than what we see in the moment.”
The message concludes with the appeal to every Christian, believer and people of goodwill to play a part in changing the collective response to the threat of climate change and environmental degradation. “Caring for God’s creation is a spiritual commission requiring a response of commitment. This is a critical moment. Our children’s future and the future of our common home depend on it.”
Photo: Prayer for peace at Assisi, 20 September 2016 © Servizio Fotografico | Vatican Media