Pope Francis has designated September 1, 2015 as the inaugural World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. The Orthodox Church has been celebrating creation care since 1989 and now the world’s 1.25 billion Catholics as well as Christians of every denomination are invited to do the same. The Church of England’s lead Bishop for the environment has called on churches to support the day of prayer and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada has written a letter of support.
“We live in a time where all Christians are faced with identical and important challenges and we must give common replies to these in order to appear more credible and effective.” the Pope said in an August 6th letter announcing the day of prayer. “Therefore it is my hope that this Day can involve, in some way, other Churches and ecclesial Communities and be celebrated in union with the initiatives that the World Council of Churches is promoting on this issue.” The Pope added that he “looks forward to the widest possible cooperation.”
Religions around the world appear to share the Pope’s message and they are making powerful faith based arguments to act on climate change.
The Pope reiterated his concern for creation a point which he made emphatically in his Encyclical. Now the Pope is calling Christians to address the environmental degradation of our Earth. As the Pope said in the August 6th letter
“As Christians we wish to offer our contribution towards overcoming the ecological crisis which humanity is living through….The ecological crisis therefore calls us to…an ecological conversion…living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”
Churches around the world are planning events to reflect on the ways our lifestyles impact the environment, Pope Francis will be joining bishops, priests, religious and lay people from 5.00pm (Rome time) in St Peter’s Basilica for a special Liturgy of the Word.
Pope Francis will soon be visiting the US as part of what can only be described as a moral mobilization. Led by the Pope’s historic efforts, the world’s faith communities are at the forefront of efforts to adopt a more ecological conscious way of life.
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