Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Statement of Support for the Pope's Encyclical from the Anglican Bishop of Quebec

This statement of support for the Pope's environmental encyclical was written by the Right Reverend Dennis P Drainville, Anglican Bishop of Quebec.

My Dear Sisters and Brothers:

Today humanity is called by Pope Francis to the single largest and most critical mission ever required of life on planet Earth. That mission is to engage with the reality of Climate Change, change that is swiftly becoming Climate Crisis. Earth is “Our Common Home”, as His Holiness reminds us. This great gift was entrusted to us by our Creator. Yet we have sorely abused that trust. Only by accepting the mission of engaging with this crisis, the secular and the faithful, the rich and the poor, the rainbow of humanity working together, can we rescue, heal and renew Mother Earth, from the destruction we have wrought upon her.

The task is daunting. The enormity of it leads many to deny there is a crisis. But we can do it. Consider this: when the world is plunged into wars, resources – financial and other - have always been found. Industry is promptly re-tooled to manufacture weapons, food production is increased and directed along with people power to where it is most needed. If governments, industries, institutions and communities can do to kill, surely we can, without further denial and delay, do what must be done to live.

I wish to affirm on behalf of the Anglican Diocese of Quebec that the urgent spiritual, moral and economic concerns of His Holiness are also our urgent concerns. I wish to affirm our acknowledgment of the links between our short-sighted and selfish over-consumption in the global north, the unrelenting attacks upon the very fabric of the earth entrusted to our stewardship, and the unequal impacts of Climate Crisis which hit hardest the poor and vulnerable of the global south.

As Pope Francis says, we are called to change and called to act. I pledge on behalf of the Anglican Diocese of Quebec to work for the radical changes and the radical actions essential if carbon emissions are to be sufficiently reduced to hold global warming to a maximum rise of 2C.

This means change and actions in our homes, our churches, our villages and cities, within our province and beyond our province, within Canada and beyond Canada, with those we know and those whom we do not yet know. Most of all, this means profound change in our own hearts and minds. The decisions will be often difficult and almost certainly unpopular with some. When we come to acknowledge that we are One People, sharing One Home, we must make different choices.

In particular, I pledge to ensure space is made for the voices of those too long silenced: indigenous peoples and women world-wide. We pay dearly for ignoring the depth of their connection with all life and their understanding that we are but one species upon the earth. We must listen to their wisdom and allow ourselves to be thus guided. People of faith can contribute to this mission in particular ways: we can bring Hope, a pillar of our faith; we can bring extensive networks of people all over the world, speaking in most every language of the world, we can bring lands for cultivation, we can commit to divesting from fossil fuels and re-investing in renewable energies. We can and must provide leadership, as Pope Francis is so boldly doing and as the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, did on 16 June with other faith leaders in the U.K.

For too long our churches have been chiefly known for the wrongs we have committed and for those things we have failed to do. Let us take up with our whole hearts and spirits the mission Pope Francis calls us to. Let us work together to create a “Climate of Hope”.

(This refers to a declaration signed by Bishop Drainville, Cardinal LeCroix and many others at the Green Church conference in April 2015.)

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