Weeks before world leaders convene the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, Pope Francis has called on all Catholics to repent and take action for our common home during the ecumenical and global celebration of the Season of Creation.
In his most recent Sunday Angelus, His Holiness warned that “the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor are becoming increasingly serious and alarming.” He called all Catholics to take “decisive, urgent action to transform this crisis into an opportunity.”
The recent United Nations climate report makes clear that the climate crisis is already affecting members of God’s creation, and that humankind is running out of time to avert the worst effects of the ecological crisis and climate emergency.
“Human influence has warmed the climate at a rate that is unprecedented in at least the last 2000 years,” the report stated.
In the Video of the Pope for September, Pope Francis asks us to reflect on the way we live and turn “towards lifestyles that are simpler and more respectful of the environment.”
(WATCH BELOW THE POPE VIDEO )
One step we can all take on this journey is to participate in the Season of Creation, the annual celebration of prayer and action for our common home. Christians make up more than 25 percent of the world’s population; they have the potential to change their communities and the world for good during the next five weeks.
First celebrated in 1989, this annual ecumenical celebration starts on 1 September, on the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation instituted by Pope Francis in 2015, and ends on 4 October, the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations.
This year, the season officially commenced with a prayer service, broadcasted live on the Season of Creation’s YouTube and Facebook. The gathering featured prayers and invited attendees to explore the season’s theme for 2021, “A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God” (Psalms 24:1).
With COP26 beginning 31 October, now is also a crucial time for Catholics to advocate for the least among us by signing the “Healthy Planet, Healthy People” petition, which calls on world leaders to advocate for the care for God’s creation.
Monsignor Bruno-Marie Duffé, former Secretary for the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, invited Catholics to sign and promote the petition, saying, “This Season of Creation will also be a critical moment for Catholics to lift up the voices of the most vulnerable and advocate on their behalf.”
Free resources available at seasonofcreation.org will help Catholics gather signatures and host petition-signing events, both online and in-person. More information can be found at seasonofcreation.org.