It has been a momentous time here in Rome these last days with the launching of Laudate Si , the papal encyclical on the environment, preceded by the Lambeth environment statement including the Archbishop of Canterbury, the day before. Clearly the Paris talks in some months’ time will be influenced by this huge uprising of faith based concern and a new wave of global interest in the well-being and future of the planet.
In order to support this initiative, a march was organised in Rome supported by a collective of Catholic justice-based organisations, under the title “One earth , One human family” - a climate March. This idea came from the global movement “Our voices” a global faith and spiritual climate action network, seeking to bring faith to the climate talks. This network took advice from the dicastery of justice and peace also.
I went along because the Anglican Communion’s voice has been clear through its own environment network (ACEN) as well as the Lambeth statement recently. I said an opening prayer as did the Assistant Bishop of Rome and some five other faith leaders from across the globe. Later I was interviewed by the press. The march of around 700 strong was warmly endorsed by Pope Francis as we finally assembled before him in St Peter’s Square at the end of our walk, in time for the papal angelus at noon on Sunday. I guessed that there was a crowd of around 60 ,000 as well, for the usual observance.
On this occasion we were all one in mind and heart: a great sense of solidarity and stewardship together with Pope Francis and the hope that is in us for a better world. The restoration of the lost garden that was given to us to care for in the book of Genesis, before it chokes or cooks. God’s earth is our home, its destiny lies in our hands; we have a dominion to care for and tend.
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