News stories are in abundance regarding Pope Francis' Climate Encyclical, but what about the people helping him write it? Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has been a primary consultant for Pope Francis' development of climate issues in the past year, giving a sneak-peak last month in Ireland.
Cardinal Turkson remains a moral leader on issues of social justice, making him a perfect fit for consultation on climate change and related issues such as poverty and migration. While Cardinal Turkson agrees that UN regulations on climate change are important, he also believes that it requires further measures: “Without moral conversion and change of hearts, even good regulations, policies, and targets in the world are unlikely to prove effective.”
By Christopher Wells for Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) “We clearly need a fundamental change of course, to protect the earth and its people – which, in turn, will allow us to ‘dignify humanity’.”
Speaking at the General Assembly for Caritas Internationalis, Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said humanity is facing far reaching changes especially with regard to climate change and human development.
Although humanity has made great progress, especially in the past two centuries, this progress “has its dark sides and unacceptable costs.” Much of the world remains in poverty, despite abundant resources, while “a privileged global elite” controls the bulk of the world’s wealth and consumes the bulk of its resources. As an example, Cardinal Turkson pointed out that although the world produces more than enough food for everyone, hundreds of millions of people still go hungry. Caritas’ campaign “One Human Family: Food for All,” he noted, seeks to address that challenge.
The same attitudes of indifference also affect how we treat the natural world. Human beings are part of nature, but too often we have “traversed the planet’s most fundamental natural boundaries” leading to a disruption of the earth’s ecological balance, and threatening the earth with “great ruin.” Cardinal Turkson warned that climate related disasters threaten both “poor countries and those at the heart of the modern economy” – although the consequences are much more serious for poorer countries.