Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, has signed a joint ecumenical and interfaith letter with a number of other religious leaders in Canada, as well as representatives from various religious agencies working in the areas of ecumenism or social justice.
The joint letter conveys prayers and support for the Canadian participants at the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) taking place in Marrakech, Morocco, November 7-18, 2016. The letter was sent to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honorable Catherine McKenna, who is leading the Canadian delegation. In their letter, the religious leaders state that “religions can truly contribute to building up a safer, healthier and more just society. We thus take to heart this Conference’s deliberations and wish to applaud all the conscientious and selfless efforts that are being made on behalf of the world community, the good of every human person, and the gift of creation itself. ”
Pope Francis likewise sent a message to the Marrakech participants. In it the Holy Father states that “The current situation of environmental degradation … challenges us all, each of us with our own roles and competencies, and brings us together here with a renewed sense of awareness and responsibility.”
Earlier, participants in a symposium organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences issued a statement in anticipation of the Marrakech Conference, highlighting its connection with Laudato Si’, the Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis on care for our common home. The Canadian Council of Churches (CCC) also published in 2015 various statements and letters regarding climate change and care for creation. The President of the CCCB was among the signatories of a declaration entitled “On Promoting Climate Justice and Ending Poverty in Canada – Faith Communities in Canada Speak Out”, published in September 2015.