Glasgow will be the host city as the UK Government will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November 2021.
The climate talks in Glasgow will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change. Cardinal Parolin will attend on behalf of the Holy See. Cardinal Parolin will take part in the session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Cardinal Parolin will plead with heads of state and international delegations to act swiftly to prevent disastrous changes to the climate which could lead to death and destruction in large swathes of the earth and irreparable damage to the earth.
As a parishioner, as a parish, as an archdiocese and as a church we collectively have our role and our responsibility to acknowledge the plea of our earth, our environment and ask ourselves the question of what we can do to help and what we can do to encourage our councils and governments to do their part in helping our environment, our society. Multi-Faith Declaration.
Our Parish of Saint Mungo's took part in the march and rally on 6th November for the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice.
“We have inherited a garden: we must not leave a desert to our children”
Pre-COP26 Appeal: Action needed to heal our wounded humanity
As COP26 Presidency, the UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire action ahead of COP26.
There is a clear emergency for our environment and the conference this year aims to address this by bringing together leaders of our world to discuss and address this issue. The time has never been better when our world is recovering from a Pandemic.
Through previous teachings Pope Paul VI referred to the ecological crisis as “a tragic consequence of unchecked human activity”, running the risk of impacting future generations. Saint John Paul II also highlighted the problems and produced what is considered the first direct documents the church issued on the ecological issues the world was facing however one could suggest had the world responded to early teachings on socio-economic concerns in previous documents the resulting emerging crisis of our earth may not have continued at the rate it has. Pope Benedict XVI suggested we no longer considered our environment as sacred when we stopped believing in a higher instance than ourselves and can only see nothing else but ourselves.
The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life
In the second paragraph of Laudato Si Pope Francis also shares similar thoughts to our world and damage caused.
2. This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.
The commentary within the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the eight days of creation is noteworthy for its emphasis on the interdependence, care and love of all creatures.(279-302) and (337-349)
We are called to respect and protect the integrity of creation, this is highlighted in 2402 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Further reading in 2415 - 2418
Laudato Si and the Catechism of the Catholic Church with the basis of sacred scripture inform us of how we should approach the moral challenges we face as we face up to the climate emergency. It is our responsibility during COP 26 in our home city to build on and ask our governments to live up to the promises of the Paris Climate Agreement. Laudato Si encouraged those negotiations and require to be revisited to again raise this awareness once again if a difference is going to be made in the world.
The encyclical from Pope Francis calls us not only for a deepening knowledge of ecology but also for an ecological conversion. If we have lost connection with our natural world then it is time that we re-connect. We are called as brothers and sisters of an ecological family, not masters of it.
In Laudato Si Pope Francis puts to the world the moral and theological concern for the climate crisis. It is up to us through the document, through the Catechism and through the Word of God to understand creation and the interconnection of life.