Catholic Cardinals Come to America for a Week of Encyclical Related Climate Events

Everyone involved in raising climate awareness (and many that aren't) know about Pope Francis Encyclical, Laudato Si. It's powerful message of eco-justice under the umbrella of Catholic theology empowered not just 1.4 billion Catholics worldwide to make a change for God Creation, but inspired of the largest shifts in public opinion on climate change since John Muir. While Pope Francis was the focal point of this edict, he was not the only one developing its content.

Head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Turkson assisted in drafting the 180+-page document, along with many other Vatican scientists and theologians. Which is why the Cardinal is scheduled to join Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center on Monday, kicking off a week of Encyclical related events. Calling for a greater relationship between the church and climate scientists, Cardinal Turkson, among many other Vatican appointed officials will embark on a whirlwind tour of climate-related events. Check out the full list of events here and get involved!

Turkson's visit to Ohio State a watershed event for climate discourse, academics say

Sharon Abercrombie | National Catholic Reporter


When a prominent cardinal visits a city, his agenda is usually predictable: preside at a liturgy and speak to the Catholic faithful in various diocesan settings. Cardinal Peter Turkson, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will keep to that schedule during his upcoming four-day stay in Columbus, Ohio, which began Friday. 

But Turkson, one of the lead drafters for Pope Francis’s environmental encyclical, “Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home,” will also break a bit from that mold. As part of his Ohio stay, he was scheduled Monday to attend a college science fair at Ohio State University’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, and follow that with a tour of the research facilities of the campus’ Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center.

The Byrd Center is internationally known for its studies around melting glaciers as evidence of climate change. According to the center’s website, head researcher Lonnie Thompson and his team’s observations in the past three decades “confirm that glaciers around the world are melting and provide clear evidence that the warming of the last 50 years is now outside the range of climate variability for several millennia, if not longer.”

Turkson was to meet with some of those researchers during his visit. Later Monday night, he will give a public address on global sustainability at the campus’ Mershon Auditorium and then engage in a fireside chat with Ohio State president Michael Drake, who issued the official invitation.

Two Catholics who teach and are involved in educational outreach at the university regard Turkson’s visit as a watershed event.  

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