Cardinal Peter Turkson has called on believers of different faiths to work together to confront the ecological crisis.
The Ghanaian cardinal who serves as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace conveyed this in a message he sent yesterday to a two-day Islamic Climate Change Symposium taking place in Istanbul, Aug.17-18, reported Vatican Radio.
In the message, Cardinal Turkson says of all the “urgent challenges which demand our prayers and action” facing the modern world, the ecological crisis is “the gravest and most intractable.”
The dicastery president stressed how Pope Francis underscored this in his recently released encyclical on the environment Laudato Si’, in which he “invites each living person to an ecological conversion of heart” and to do what is necessary to solve these serious problems.
“Our urgent action” to confront this, Cardinal Turkson underscored, “will surely be more effective if we believers of different religious communities find ways to work together.”
The “firm belief in God,” he stressed, unites Christians, Muslims and many others. “This faith compels us to care for the magnificent gift he has bestowed upon us – and, God-willing, upon those, who will follow us.”
Cardinal Turkson’s message concluded, noting that it is with great joy and in a spirit of solidarity that he expresses to the participants the promise of the Catholic Church to pray for the success of their initiative and “her desire to work with you in the future to care for our common home and thus to glorify the God who created us.”
Vatican Radio has published the full message, which during the symposium was presented by Father John Brinkham (D.C.L.)
Solidarity Message from the Catholic Faith
to the Islamic Climate Change Symposium
Istanbul, 17-18 August 2015
To all gathered here in Istanbul to launch the Islamic Climate Change Declaration, it gives me great pleasure to convey the warm greetings and solidarity of H.E. Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Vatican City.
It is clear that we are living at a particularly turbulent and decisive moment in world history. Humanity faces a number of urgent challenges which demand our prayers and action. The on-going ecological crisis is the gravest and most intractable of all.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis issued an encyclical letter, Laudato si’, in which he invites each living person to undergo an ecological conversion of heart. We have to re-imagine our commitment to what he calls “the care of our common home”, this planet, the earth, in the light of our faith. It is not enough, he says, to propose merely technical solutions, for they are “powerless to solve the serious problems of our world if humanity loses its compass, if we lose sight of the great motivations which make it possible for us to live in harmony, to make sacrifices and to treat others well.” (LS, 200)
A great motivation which unites Christians, Muslims and many others is the firm belief in God. This faith compels us to care for the magnificent gift he has bestowed upon us – and, God-willing, upon those, who will follow us. Our urgent action will surely be more effective if we believers of different religious communities find ways to work together.
So, it is with great joy and in a spirit of solidarity that I express to you the promise of the Catholic Church to pray for the success of your initiative and her desire to work with you in the future to care for our common home and thus to glorify the God who created us.
Fr. John T. Brinkman, M.M.