The Church of England’s lead on the environment, Bishop of Salisbury the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, has given a wholehearted welcome to today’s Papal Encyclical on climate change.
Bishop Nicholas said:
“I wholeheartedly welcome the Papal Encyclical Laudato Si, a major contribution to tackling climate change, which is one of the great moral challenges of our times. It has been much anticipated and lives up to our hopes that it would be a very substantial and compelling document not just for Roman Catholics but for the whole Church and all people who live together in our common home.
“Pope Francis highlights the iniquitous way in which the enormous consumption of some wealthy nations has repercussions in the poorest places on the planet. What is bad for our neighbours is also bad for us.
“We are seeing significant ecumenical and interfaith convergence on climate change. The Papal Encyclical is a substantial development of themes very much in line with statements made by the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Churches, the Letter on Climate Change from the Swedish Lutheran bishops as well as by the Church of England and the Anglican Communion’s Environmental Network and others. As we saw yesterday with the launch of the Lambeth Declaration, the moral gravity of the challenge of climate change is also recognised by all the world faiths present in the UK.
“The transition to a low carbon economy is urgent. Churches and other faith communities have a unique power to mobilise people for the common good and change attitudes and behaviours. We also need to strengthen our politicians to achieve ambitious, accountable and binding climate change agreements, nationally and internationally.
“The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted how important this is when he spoke at the Vatican Summit on climate change in April. If people of faith and all people of goodwill work together, there is hope that we can meet the challenges posed by climate change.”