A statement from the Passionist Congregation in England and Wales, September 2019:
We Passionists of St Joseph’s Province in England and Wales, recognise that we are in a Climate and Ecological Emergency.
The life of God’s creation on earth is threatened. The climate is changing rapidly due to human actions, and species are threatened with extinction at an ever increasing rate. Both of these undermine the basis for human life and desecrate God’s creation.
God created human beings in the Divine image, to love their Creator and to care for all Creation, both human and the whole natural world. We are called to love our neighbour as ourselves. Laudato Si reminds us that the Earth is our neighbour, our mother and our sister. Our globalised society has harnessed God-given human ingenuity for the universal common good, in ways that contribute to the good of many millions of our sisters and brothers. However, in the process, we are now damaging the very fruitfulness of creation that God intended, and on which we depend. In this kairos moment, this crisis-point at which we have arrived, emergency action is needed to protect God’s earth and God’s poor. We, especially in the richer nations of the world, need to change direction, to repent. If we do not, we know the poorest will once more suffer first and most. Christians must be open to, and speak, the truth that sets us free. So we commit ourselves to integrate human, climate and ecological justice in every aspect of our life, work, worship and prayer.
We pledge to act on this Emergency in our own lives and ministry. We will also work with and support our members, friends and government, at local and national levels, in tackling this Emergency, and we call on others to do the same.
These are our intentions:
1. We will tell the Truth
Governments and broadcasters must tell the truth about the Climate and Ecological Emergency, reverse inconsistent policies and communicate the urgency for far-reaching systemic change. We will communicate with those associated with us and those we minister and work with, and support them to discover the truth about the Emergency and the changes that are needed.
2. We will take Action
Governments must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels. We pledge to work towards reducing our emissions to net zero by 2025. We will challenge policies and actions of local and national governments and their agencies, where they do not help to reduce emissions or consumption levels. We will actively work to inspire, enable, imagine and model ways in which our faith and our congregations can protect and renew our life-sustaining planet.
3. We are committed to Justice
The emergency has arisen from deeply systemic injustices. Faith communities can imagine and unleash shifts in the ways people relate to one another and the world, in our values and behaviours. We will do what is possible to help all those associated with us and those we minister and work with to talk about how the Emergency will affect them and the changes that are needed. We believe that all truth-telling, action and democratic work must be underpinned by a commitment to justice, both within our nation and towards other nations, particularly for those who are poorer.