Far reaching Papal Encyclical on the Environment to be published Thursday
June 16, 2015:
On Thursday something very extraordinary will happen in the journey to link religions with conservation and conservation with religions.
The Pope will issue an encyclical to urge Catholics - who make up one sixth of the world's population, approximately 1.2 billion people - to make real changes in their lifestyles and energy consumption in order to avert the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem”.
For the first time in an encyclical, the head of the Catholic Church will both warn that failure to act would have “grave consequences for all of us”, and also empower everyone – child, young person, man and woman, rich and poor – to protect this fragile planet.
It is expected that Pope Francis, who named himself after the Saint who saw us and all creatures as equal members, in God's eyes, of the family of God, will give a powerful lead in the quest for all sectors of society to address the pressing issues of climate change and other pressing environmental issues, in the context of respecting all life.
In 1986 at the WWF Assisi Event, hosted by HRH Prince Philip and ARC, the Catholic Church issued its earliest and clearest statement about concern for the natural world.
There are an estimated 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world, according to Vatican figures. More than 40% of the world's Catholics live in Latin America - but Africa has seen the biggest growth in Catholic congregations in recent years.