DUBLIN (RNS) – The Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference announced hours before the arrival of Pope Francis, the world's largest environmental vendor, that she would divest from fossil fuels.
The move comes in response to the environmental encyclical of Francis & # 39; 2015, & # 39; Laudato Si & # 39; (& & # 39; On Care for Our Common Home & # 39;), and follows the introduction of a bill in the Irish parliament that requires the country's sovereign wealth fund to dispose of all fossil fuels.
The bishop's move means withdrawing investments in 200 oil and gas companies within 5 years, said Bishop William Crean, president of the Irish Catholic humanitarian bureau Trócaire, in a statement.
The Irish Bishops Conference joins 95 other Catholic organizations around the world by engaging in divestment. If Irish law succeeds, Ireland becomes the first government in the world to abandon fossil fuels.
"The impact in terms of human suffering on families is devastating," stated the Irish bishops in a statement Friday (August 24). Climate change already leads to forced migration, family breakdown and increasing pressure on resources. "
On June 9, Pope Francis met executives in the Vatican. "Civilization needs energy, but energy can not destroy civilization," he said in his speech.
A more sustainable approach to the economy, work and the environment is one of the six main themes of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin this week.
In a panel about caring for our common house: why the family is important for the future of our planet, and during an interreligious service at the Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin, bishops from Myanmar and New Zealand spoke on the subject of climate change.
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, Myanmar, noted that three decades of international debate and negotiation about environmental degradation "are already aggravating hunger, water shortages in the poorest parts of the world and those least affected have deeply disadvantaged "the problem, and who has the least means to cope. "
Bo said: "We often do not see that decisions we take in one arena of life – what we consume, how much we consume, what transport we use, how we get rid of things – affect everything else."
A true ecological approach always becomes a social approach, he said.
Juan Carlos Mendoza, director of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, said that tackling climate change is not something that is done by politicians or leaders.
"It will be by people, including the faith communities," he told RNS. "They play a very critical role in their families, in their parishes, as citizens."
The Great Green Wall Initiative, which is trying to combat the effects of climate change in the Sahara countries, is an example, he said.
"We have seen local communities from different religions come together around this," said Mendoza. Muslims and Christians living in the neighborhood work together on land rehabilitation. "
Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, New Zealand, also spoke at the meeting.
"The world is gifted for our good, for our use, but not for our domination, which means protection for those who come after us," he said. "We have come to see ourselves as gentlemen and masters, people who have the right to plunder it at will," he said. "The Pope asks us to complain about the damage we have caused and to repent."