Linking climate change into spiritual practices

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Linking climate change into spiritual practices
Linking climate change into spiritual practices

Africa-Press – Lesotho. The leader of the Catholic Church,Pope Francis and other church leaders are in the fore front tackling environmental protection and climate change. These religious leaders emphasize that

creation care and climate change are moral issues for people of faith and goodwill. When lamenting pollution, climate change, lack of clean water, loss

of biodiversity, and an overall decline in human life and a breakdown of society, Pope Francis said “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years.

” Pope Francis chose his papal name, Francis to honor St. Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of those who promote ecology. The Catholic Church

established Laudato Si Movement (Lesotho included) for the Catholic community to tackle these issues. In an interview with Informative Newspaper, Laudado Si

Movement Lesotho Chapter Coordinator Mantopi Lebofa said the movement is the Catholic community’s call to climate action, arising from theological foundation,

proclaimed to all within one human family. “From this call we envision, pray for, and act towards a thriving future, with our family and the gift of God’s

creation. ” She also stated that Laudato Si Movement addresses the Sustainable Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement from the spiritual

point of view to change people’s hearts. Lebofa said among other issues, Laudato Si members deliver Catholic teaching on climate change to local audiences around the country, they also

ensure community engagement and participatory action, ensuring involvement of everyone. Pope Francis says “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to

redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation. ” Members also conduct trainings of animators on quarterly basis, welcoming all people to learn to animate while they take action as individuals and collectively in

changing own lifestyles. Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa (LECSA) Reverend Motipi Ranthimo highlighted that climate and environmental issues are stated in

the Bible. He quoted the time when Israel had experienced seven years of hunger and seven of prosperity, and the great flood. Rev Ranthimo said God instructed

people to take care of the earth after He had created it. However, Rev Ranthimo stated that agriculture contributed in the climate change effects that the world is experiencing, making example of using

tractors which emit gases that are hazardous to the environment. He also showed that in this case, conservation agriculture is the solution as there is minimum

soil tillage, reverses land degradation, protects the environment and responds to growing challenges of climate change. Rev Ranthimo urged people to be familiar with the Bible’s teaching

about ecology and to share experiences from organic farming, conservation agriculture, religious vocation and geoscience “By following our faith and working together, Christians can solve climate change”.

Pope Francis’s environment encyclicals draw from the deep well of Catholic teaching on care for creation. In his Encyclical letter, given in Rome at Saint Peter’s on 24 May

2015, the Solemnity of Pentecost, the third of his Pontificate, Pope Francis in

Laudato Si’ 13 said “Particular appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmental degradation on the lives of

the world’s poorest. Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental

crisis and the sufferings of the excluded. ” In Laudato Si’ 14 “I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.

We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing and its human roots, concern and affect us all. The worldwide ecological movement has

already made considerable progress and led to the establishment of numerous organizations committed to raising awareness of these challenges. Regrettably,

many efforts to seek concrete solutions to the environmental crisis have proved ineffective, not only because of powerful opposition but also because of a more

general lack of interest. ” “It is my hope that this Encyclical Letter, which is now added to the body of the Church’s social teaching, can help us to acknowledge the

appeal, immensity and urgency of the challenge we face. I will begin by briefly reviewing several aspects of the present ecological crisis, with the aim of

drawing on the results of the best scientific research available today, letting them touch us deeply and provide a concrete foundation for the ethical and spiritual

itinerary that follows,” Pope Francis further said in Laudato Si’ 15. The Laudato Si Movement, founded as a Global Catholic Climate Movement, was launched on 15 January 2015, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

That was the day Pope Francis arrived in the Philippines for a highly symbolic trip that would feature a visit to Tacloban, the epicenter of the Super Typhoon

Haiyan. Laudato Si Movement is the fruit of a Kairos- the Kairos of 2015 was the combination of two transformative events that would shape how the Church

and humanity responded to the ecological crisis: the Laudato Si’ encyclical release and the Paris Climate Agreement. It is a community of Catholics, responding to the Pope’s call to

action in the Laudato Si’ encyclical. It is a movement of lay people, priests, religious, bishops and a global network of member organizations working together on the climate change crisis: to raise

awareness within the Church about the urgency of climate action in light of Catholic social and environmental teachings, advocating for the world’s policy

makers and all Catholics to act in ways appropriate to their spheres of influence to protect the common good through mitigation and adaptation policies which promote social and environmental resilience to climate change.

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