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posted by Reverend Theo. "Ted" Klebes
‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation’
Pope Francis today made a declaration that Sept. 1 will be marked as a day for "Care of Creation" encouraging Catholics to both pray and work to save our environment.
Every September 1, starting this year, will be an annual day of global prayer “for the Care of Creation,” Pope Francis said on Monday.
“I wish to inform you that I have decided to institute in the Catholic Church the ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation’ which, beginning this year, is to be celebrated on 1 September,” Francis said in a letter released by the Vatican.
The Pontiff has set the day to match a holiday celebrated by the Orthodox Christians since the 1980s, who also honor the day to talk about issues of the environment.
This summer has been full of announcements regarding the environment from the Catholic Church.
In letters to his arch bishops in June, he took the issue head on:
“We must be grateful for the praiseworthy efforts being made by scientists and engineers dedicated to finding solutions to man-made problems,” Francis writes. But “the degree of human intervention,” he continues, “is actually making our earth less rich and beautiful, ever more limited and grey.”
“We seem to think that we can substitute an irreplaceable and irretrievable beauty with some which we have created ourselves,” Francis concludes. “It’s based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit.”
He is more direct in his own voice, knocking down the idea that humans have “dominion” over nature, a biblical right to harvest the earth without limit. “This is not a correct interpretation,” Francis writes. “We are not God. The Earth was here before us and it has been given to us.”
Many Climate advocates have pointed out that the RCC is very late to the game - and isn't going far enough; still, numerous also acknowledge that the Church commenting on the need to do something as well as acknowledging Climate Change in general is a significant positive for their movement.
Right-Wing advocates who have long promoted denialism are now faced with one of the most powerful pulpits in the world calling them out and asking followers, more than 1 billion people, to begin to take climate change seriously.
How much impact will it have in the end? That is hard to know, but it certainly changes the discussion.
Like many, I await more responses from those eager to decry the Pope for not being a scientist.