For Immediate Release: October 4, 2023
Contact: Tiffany Hartung, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ahead of Global Climate Summit, Pope Francis Releases Letter Urging Action on Climate Change for our Common Home
Washington, DC– Today, Pope Francis released a new letter on the environment, Laudate Deum, described as a follow-up to his 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home.” and in response to record-breaking heat, floods and droughts of the past summer. In it, he writes “Yet, with the passage of time, I have realized that our responses have not been adequate, while the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point.”
Today’s release falls on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi and on the first day of a monthlong assembly for the Synod on Synodality and the conclusion of the Season of Creation, a Vatican-supported ecumenical initiative about caring for the environment.
It comes one month ahead of COP28, a global meeting of world leaders on climate change. The letter addresses themes such as climate change, care for the environment, fossil fuels, and the dignity of human life. The Vatican is pleading with world leaders and faith communities globally to make an impact on climate decisions at COP28. The document addresses: “the technocratic paradigm”, “weakness of international politics”, “climate conferences progress and failure”, and “spiritual motivations.”
In response, the Interfaith Power & Light network released this statement:
Rev. Susan Hendershot, President of Interfaith Power & Light:
“The impacts of climate and environmental justice are all around us if we just open our eyes. Our world is burning, the seas are rising, and communities are suffering. As people of faith, we are called to care for our Sacred Earth and for our neighbors, especially those who are most vulnerable. Once again, Pope Francis helps us to recognize the connection between the economy, those who have been historically marginalized, and our Common Home. He also calls us to recognize that we are not powerless to act, and to live out our spiritual values in ways that will heal the earth and provide hope to its people everywhere.”
Sr. Joan Brown, Executive Director of New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light:
“Pope Francis again calls us to engage with concerns of economic inequity, greed, food and water, fossil fuel use, and destruction of Earth that are part of a climate warming world. This past summer we all faced stark realities of increased warming and resulting suffering. In calling out the abuse of power in our world while more and more suffer, we are invited with more urgency to use our voices of faith for change as we face ‘breaking point’. Ultimately we must act out of great love for great change.”
Interfaith Power & Light works in all 50 states and U.S. territories with a broad national network of state- and regional-level affiliates. IPL inspires and mobilizes people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change.