Catholics across the United States need to be watching intently as the leaders of the world gather in Glasgow, Scotland, for the United Nations climate change summit, known as COP26.
"Given that the very habitability of our planet may depend on the results of the summit, it is a good time for Catholics everywhere to be praying and fasting, in hopes that our leaders will finally (finally!) commit to doing whatever it takes to save the Earth we are destroying," we write in our editorial.
"It is also a good time — really, well beyond a good time — for Catholics to act," we continue. "Especially U.S. bishops and leaders of Catholic organizations that manage physical plants, including diocesan offices, parish churches, schools, cemeteries and numerous other facilities across the country."
Catholic development agencies, religious congregations and the Vatican say the climate change summit known as COP26 is crucial to the international effort to limit the planet's rising temperatures.
Around the world, communities are mobilizing to protect their valued natural resources from international corporations that want to strip the land for profit. This work toward a more sustainable planet stretches from rural areas in the Philippines to the halls of the United Nations.
Opposing corporations' profit-driven models and finding viable options to preserve the Earth's resources is not and will not be easy. But activists working on a just transition to a sustainable planet through actions to fight climate change and to move workers away from jobs that contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions say the transition is moral, practical and imperative.
"A just transition is a vision to help us shift from an extractive-based economy to one that is just, equitable and regenerative," said Canadian Sr. Sheila Smith, who represents the Society of the Sacred Heart at the United Nations. "How we make this shift is deeply influenced by a belief that just transition happens by transforming how we see ourselves as humans in relationship with others in Earth community."
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In an essay last week in First Things, retired Archbishop Charles Chaput defended EWTN and called Pope Francis a liar. NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters wonders if Chaput, like EWTN, are headed into a schism.
Once before, U.S. bishops issued a collective public address on an existential issue from the point of faith and morals when the future of the world hung in the balance. Then, it was nuclear weapons. Today, it should be climate change. Read more in this commentary at EarthBeat.
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