Climate Campaigners at Westminster Cathedral

Participants at the Care of Creation Monday Lunchtime Briefings for London and the South East, convened by Westminster Justice & Peace Co-ordinator, Colette Joyce, joined the Cathedral prayer vigil by Zoom as part of their regular meeting on Monday 12th April 2021.

Prayers outside Westminster Cathedral

Prayers outside Westminster Cathedral

Source – Independent Catholic News

Catholics For Christian Climate Action held prayer protests outside Westminster and Cardiff cathedrals asking for stronger leadership on climate crisis from Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales as they prepare for Spring Plenary Meeting.

They were praying for the Catholic Church to take a more active lead in speaking out and demonstrating the urgency with which the UK needs to act on the climate and ecological emergency ahead of COP26.

There is growing evidence that the IPCC carbon neutral target of 2050 is too late to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees, above which there will be dire consequences and terrible and widespread suffering.

Those taking part in today’s actions were seeking an immediate commitment by Church organisations to divest from fossil fuels and funders of fossil fuel projects, with a plan to do so by the end of 2022, as well as advocacy for a national commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2030. They were also asking the Church to advocate for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, which now has the support of 106 Members of Parliament, as a measure that would ensure that the UK contributes fairly to climate mitigation consistent with limiting global temperature increases to 1.5°C. Participants took the opportunity to pray in thanks for the positive actions that have already been taken by the Bishops Conference and some Diocese, religious orders and other Catholic organisations as a foundation upon which to build.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster was not in central London at that time of the protest but said: “I assure you that every bishop in England and Wales is fully aware of the issues to which you are drawing attention and have been addressing them, in various ways, for some time.”

Melanie Nazareth, mother of four and a member of Catholics for Christian Climate Action, said: “The only way to avoid even more dangerous warming is for countries to stop emitting CO2 and the need for action grows ever more urgent and ever more difficult. I want our Catholic leaders in this country to speak out more about what the UK must do to protect our brothers and sisters in more vulnerable parts of the world. This is a time of Kairos, the time of choosing for the world and for us. The voices of our Church leaders could make a huge difference.”

Columban sister Kate Midgley said: “I am praying outside Westminster Cathedral because there are some things that need to be shouted from the housetops! We are in a climate and ecological emergency. As Christians, as Catholics, we believe that the whole earth is a miracle of God’s creation and that is being held in being in every moment by God. We of all people need to be at the forefront of calling for the protection of our earth. So, I am praying that our bishops will be inspired.”

Colette Joyce commented, “We add our voices in support of Catholics for Christian Climate Action and commend the work of the Bishops in helping the Church to take urgent action in the face of the current climate emergency. We call on them to support every parish community to adopt best practice with regard to environmental care in the coming years.”

Activists from Justice & Peace, CAFOD, the Laudato Si’ Animators, religious orders and other organisations from the five Dioceses of Arundel & Brighton, Brentwood, Portsmouth, Southwark and Westminster (and a few from elsewhere!) meet every Monday 1.00-1.45pm for mutual prayer, information sharing, discussion, action-planning and encouragement on climate and environmental issues. Everyone is welcome to join us or to sign up for the weekly Care of Creation newsletter.

For more details call Colette Joyce 07593 434 905 or email colettejoyce@rcdow.org.uk

Diocese of Westminster Justice and Peace Care of Creation webpage

Key Climate Dates in 2021

Catholics for Christian Climate Action are the Catholics within Christian Climate Action, a community of Christians supporting each other to take meaningful action in the face of imminent and catastrophic anthropogenic climate breakdown. Inspired by Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit and following the example of social justice movements of the past, they engage in acts of public witness, nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience to urge those in power to make the changes needed.