Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to protect creation.
For the first time ever, in a recent statement the Pope spoke out about the Season of Creation, an annual celebration of prayer and action for the environment that is observed by Christians around the world from the beginning of September through early October.
And on September 20 and 27, Catholics worldwide will participate in more than 150 climate strikes to sound an urgent call for climate justice, led by Laudato Si’ Generation, an international network of young Catholic leaders.
In the Philippines, a Catholic university is organizing a climate strike in Freedom Park in Davao City, where political speeches are protected. They’re building on a mobilization held earlier this month in Quezon City in which the archbishop of Manila and thousands of Catholics walked through the streets to show their support for urgent action on climate change.
In Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Catholic churches across the city will join the strike. Located near the coast, Port Harcourt is vulnerable to flooding brought by rising seas. Oil companies in the area have had a long history of environmental pollution, and many residents have seen firsthand the environmental destruction wrought by fossil fuel extraction.
Catholic clergy in Latin America are also taking up the call to strike. Fr. Roberto Jaramillo, president of the Latin American Jesuits, said, “I would like to urge each one of you to spread this urgent call to implement solutions to the climate emergency . . . . We join together [on September 20] with concrete action that demands . . . real steps in the protection and defense of our common home.”
These actions advance what Pope Francis himself has said: “I want the Church to go out to the streets! I ask you in the name of God to defend Mother Earth!”
by the Global Catholic Climate Movement