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26 May 2020

Catholics urge Prime Minister to take urgent and swift measures to address climate emergency

Toronto, Ontario, May 25, 2020: In celebration of the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, the Joint Ecological Ministry (JEM) called on Catholics across Canada to unite and demand the government “take immediate concrete actions to flatten the curve of global warming and move towards a just and sustainable future.”

“As with all crises, it is those who are already marginalized and oppressed who are suffering most from the COVID-19 fallout. All of Creation is being threatened for the sake of our economy” says Leah Watkiss, the Director of the Ministry for Social Justice, Peace, and Creation Care. Following Pope Francis’ appeal: “Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is … not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience,” (Laudato Si’ #217) Catholics have the moral obligation to protect all Creation for today – and for future generations.

Catholics United for Climate Action was signed by 73 Catholic communities and organizations, and 551 Catholic individuals from across Canada. The petition demands that Canada’s recovery:

  • Reject bailouts of oil and gas industries, instead urging government to implement the commitment to table and then pass in Parliament the Just Transition Act.
  • Implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
  • Prioritize action on multilateral debt cancellation for countries of the Global South struggling to meet the challenges of the pandemic as well as the climate emergency.

The letter was delivered today to PM Justin Trudeau.

For more information, contact:

Leah Watkiss
Ministry Director – Ministry for Social Justice, Peace, and Creation Care
Congregation of the Sisters of Saint-Joseph of Toronto
E-mail: lwatkiss@csj-to.ca

Joe Gunn
Executive Director/Directeur général
Centre Oblat – A Voice for Justice
E-mail: JGunn@omilacombe.ca

*Joint Ecological Ministry (JEM) is a collaboration of religious communities and partners using their resources to promote caring for Creation and living within planetary limits.