The Irish Church is standing with young people attending the Global Climate Strike this Friday and calling for a “radical ecological conversion”.
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In a note Thursday, representatives of the Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference confirmed they would take to the streets today in solidarity with youth pushing for an end to the use of fossil fuels.
The Global Climate Strike is a week of actions all around the globe to “demand climate justice for everyone”, in the words of organisers.
Alan McGuckian, Chair of the Irish Bishops’ Council for Justice and Peace praised the strike’s conveners’ “love for the environment” and their desire “to actively highlight the vulnerability of our fragile ecosystem”.
“I applaud their example of leadership in order to protect our future generations”, the Jesuit Bishop of Raphoe added.
Citing Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical letter Laudato si’, “on care for our common home”, McGuckian stated that “caring for this beautiful planet, which we share together, is a moral duty in its own right”.
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“Young people have been at the forefront of driving this renewal and the Council for Justice and Peace wish to stand with them in calling for a radical ecological conversion”, McGuckian continued.
The bishop also said the Irish Church wished “to raise our voices for our sisters and brothers in the poorest parts of our world, who are already feeling the devastating effects of climate change”.
“A grave injustice of climate degradation is that those who contributed least to the problem, will be affected most”, McGuckian denounced.
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Backing next month’s Pan-Amazon Synod in Rome on ‘New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology’, the bishop concluded:
“Wherever we call home it is incumbent on all of us to live responsibly, and in a sustainable way, always thinking of our neighbour”.
Ten major climate rallies are scheduled to be held around Ireland today, along with 90 “local support actions”.
Thousands of people are expected to attend the demonstrations.
Among the groups protesting will be “FaithS For Climate Action”.
“As the Amazon Forest burns, we stand at a crossroads as a Global Community. As Church we can shine as a beacon of light for others”, that group said on its website.