3 Oct 2014

The Cry of the Earth: A Call to Action for Climate Justice

4th October is the feast day of St Francis of Assisi and in advance of the feast day of the patron saint of ecology and the environment, the Irish Conference of Bishops has launched a new pastoral letter on the care of the environment - Cry of the Earth: A Call to Action for Climate Justice.

"In 2009 the Irish Bishops’ Conference published the pastoral reflection The Cry of the Earth with the aim of stimulating and resourcing dialogue and reflection on the critical questions posed by the challenge of climate change. The reflection was inspired by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate, published earlier that year. Caritas in Veritate  emphasised that the ‘environment is God’s gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole.’

On the role of the Church, Pope Benedict stated: ‘The Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere’ (nn. 48 and 51). Accordingly, in The Cry of the Earth individuals, parish communities and all people of good will were invited to reflect on ‘that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying’ (n. 50).


Bishop Leahy at the launch in Maynooth
This pastoral reflection proved to be a valuable tool for those who are concerned about the impact of climate change and want to take action to address its negative consequences.

As more and more people in our society are becoming aware of the unjust impact of climate change on some of the most vulnerable communities in our world, The Cry of the Earth has now been updated 2014, with supporting resources for dialogue at parish level, with a new title - The Cry of the Earth: A Call to Action for Climate Justice. 


You can read more about the pastoral letter on the website of the Irish Conference of Bishops.

  • Press conference launching the pastoral letter available to listen to HERE.
  • Click the link for a PDF of the full text of the Pastoral reflection The Cry of the Earth A Call to Action for Climate Justice 2014
  • GLAS – a pastoral resource for parishes to supplement The Cry of the Earth: A Call to Action for Climate Justice – click here
  • Homily Notes on The Cry of the Earth A Call to Action for Climate Justice
  • Article by Éamonn Meehan from September 2014 issue of Intercom Magazine: Hearing the Cry of the Earth
  • Articles and information on climate change from Trócaire, the Overseas Development Agency of the Catholic Church – click here
  • Rev Professor David Wilkinson on climate change – BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day 22 September 2014
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