“Prophetic actions” are required to address climate change, Pope Francis declared in a statement on Sunday’s World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
In a message published in anticipation of this month’s U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York, Pope Francis writes that it is “a season to reflect on our lifestyles” and how we “act like tyrants with regards to creation” – and to take “prophetic actions” to save the planet:
“It is also a season to reflect on our lifestyles, and how our daily decisions about food, consumption, transportation, use of water, energy and many other material goods, can often be thoughtless and harmful. Too many of us act like tyrants with regard to creation. Let us make an effort to change and to adopt more simple and respectful lifestyles! Now is the time to abandon our dependence on fossil fuels and move, quickly and decisively, towards forms of clean energy and a sustainable and circular economy. Let us also learn to listen to indigenous peoples, whose age-old wisdom can teach us how to live in a better relationship with the environment.
“This too is a season for undertaking prophetic actions. Many young people all over the world are making their voices heard and calling for courageous decisions. They feel let down by too many unfulfilled promises, by commitments made and then ignored for selfish interests or out of expediency. The young remind us that the earth is not a possession to be squandered, but an inheritance to be handed down. They remind us that hope for tomorrow is not a noble sentiment, but a task calling for concrete actions here and now. We owe them real answers, not empty words, actions not illusions.”
This man-made climate emergency requires immediate action, Pope Francis writes:
“Melting of glaciers, scarcity of water, neglect of water basins and the considerable presence of plastic and microplastics in the oceans are equally troubling, and testify to the urgent need for interventions that can no longer be postponed. We have caused a climate emergency that gravely threatens nature and life itself, including our own.”
Pope Francis’ monthly intention for September is “The Protection of the Oceans - That politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world's seas and oceans.”