If a sign reading, “SOLAR POWER IS FROM THE HEAVENS,’ doesn’t bring a smile to your face, I don't know what will. And, smiles were in abundance as thousands of people from various faith backgrounds marched on Rome to express their support for Pope Francis’ climate Encyclical, Laudato Si. Luckily the celebration at hand did not misconstrue this victory as being the end of the fight for creation care.
Faith leaders in attendance maintained that while the Encyclical was a step in the right direction, it is far from being the end of the struggle. To put the Pope’s inspirational words into action, marchers pressed the Vatican to divest assets from fossil fuels, just as religious organization such as the World Council of Churches have already done.
How are you implementing the Pope’s call to climate action at the local level?
By Hoda Baraka for 350.org
People of faith, civil society groups, and communities impacted by climate change marched together in Rome this Sunday to express gratitude to Pope Francis for the release of his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, and call for bolder climate action by world leaders.
Under the banner of “One Earth One Human Family,” the march brought together Catholics and other Christians, followers of non-Christian faiths, environmentalists and people of goodwill. The march ended in St. Peter’s Square in time for the Pope’s weekly Angelus.
The weekly Angelus takes place on Sunday when the Pope is in Rome. At noon he appears from the window of his apartment where he gives a short speech followed by the Angelus prayer and ending with the Apostolic Blessing.
The celebratory march was animated by a musical band, a climate choir and colourful public artwork designed by artists from Italy and other countries, whose work played a major role in the People’s Climate March in New York City last September. Among the artwork was a 75-meter sign in the shape of a green leaf, with verses from Scripture which speak to God’s care for creation and for the poor.
Organisers of the march include: 350.org, FOCSIV, a coalition of over 60 Italian Catholic development, relief and social justice groups, and OurVoices, the international, multi-faith climate change campaign led by GreenFaith and the Conservation Foundation.
Joining the march to represent frontline communities and to relay a message of climate justice were Arianne and George from the Pacific Climate Warriors alongside Father Warren and Father Jovino who are priests from the Philippines engaged in climate campaigning.
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