October 20, 2014

I am grateful the Vatican recently urged ethical action in response to climate change during a presentation at the United Nations ("Nations share responsibility for climate change," WCR, Oct. 6).

"There is a moral imperative to act" because climate change "affects everyone, in particular the poorest among us," said Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

Quoting Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict, the Vatican secretary of state spoke Sept. 23 during the climate summit at UN headquarters in New York City. He called climate change "a very serious problem" with "grave consequences for the most vulnerable" in society as well as future generations.

He also highlighted the need to address "two interconnected objectives: combating poverty and easing the effects of climate change."

The Vatican envoy called climate change "a question of justice, respect and equity" which "must awaken our consciences." He emphasized the need for "an authentic cultural shift" which "reinforces our formative and educational efforts, above all in favour of the young."

This would instill "a sense of responsibility for creation and integral human development of all people, present and future."

Parolin praised the work of many Catholic educational institutions, bishops' conferences, dioceses, parishes and Catholic-inspired non-governmental organizations committed to ethical response to the climate crisis.

He also noted that Vatican City is undertaking "significant efforts" to reduce its use of fossil fuels.

Parolin's presentation stressed that formation of conscience includes awareness of an ethical response to a broad range of interconnected ecological and life issues. How do we make the connections in order to respond faithfully and responsibly?

Roma De Robertis, SCIC
Saint John, N.B.