The Vatican’s document on “synodality” can “indirectly” influence Catholic negotiators in the upcoming climate conference in Egypt next month, said a Vatican official.
Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary general of the General Secretariat of the Synod, said reports from various countries on climate and the environment are “very, very strong.”
Titled “Enlarge the space of your tent,” the document, which was released on October 27, is a “synthesis of the syntheses” of the submissions from Churches in five continents.
Cardinal Grech, however, said Catholic climate negotiators have “just to follow” Pope Francis’ encyclical on the “Care for Our Common Home” in the Conference of the Parties (COP) next month.
COP27 is the 27th annual UN meeting on climate. It will take place in Sharm el-Sheikh from November 6 to 18.
“We have to care for creation because we care for the people. So that’s part of the move of the Catholic Church,” he said during the press conference in the Vatican on Thursday.
The cardinal said he is optimistic that the Church “will be more conscious” in promoting ecological justice because “we listen to each other in a synod way.”
Father Giacomo Costa, consultor of the General Secretariat of the Synod, said the synodal documents can serve as guide to an “understanding of the mission of the Church.”
The Holy See sits as a Permanent Observer to the COP of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.
Meanwhile, Anna Rowlands, associate professor of Catholic Social Thought and Practice in the University of Durham, said ecology and climate issues can advance ecumenism and interfaith dialogue.
“A grassroots of ecumenism can happen through a passionate concern for care for our common home, for creation, and for ecology,” she said.
Rowlands said countries that face the most immediate and visceral effects of climate change can learn to “walk side by side.”
“Finding genuine common goods that we can share and be oriented to and participate together in responding to [the climate crisis] is part of the future of the witness of Christianity,” she said. – reports from Mark Saludes and Rodne Galicha of OeconoMedia
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