Pope cre­ates global prayer event for ‘Care of Cre­ation’

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Pope Fran­cis has es­tab­lished an an­nual day of global prayer “for the Care of Cre­ation” to boost sup­port for the en­vi­ron­ment, the Vat­i­can said Mon­day.

The first day of prayer next month co­in­cides with the buildup to a world­wide con­fer­ence to roll back the peril of cli­mate change.

“I wish to in­form you that I have de­cided to in­sti­tute in the Catholic Church the ‘World Day of Prayer for the Care of Cre­ation’ which, be­gin­ning this year, is to be cel­e­brated on 1 Septem­ber,” the pope said in a let­ter re­leased by the Vat­i­can.

Fran­cis said he had been inspired by Ec­u­meni­cal Pa­tri­arch Bartholomew, the spir­i­tual leader of the world’s Ortho­dox Chris­tians, who have been pray­ing for the en­vi­ron­ment on that date since the late 1980s.

“The cel­e­bra­tion of this Day, on the same date as the Ortho­dox Church, will be a valu­able op­por­tu­nity to bear wit­ness to our grow­ing com­mu­nion with our Ortho­dox broth­ers and sis­ters,” the Pope said.

“We live at a time when all Chris­tians are faced with the same decisive chal­lenges, to which we must re­spond to­gether, in or­der to be more cred­i­ble and ef­fec­tive.”

The prayer day “will of­fer in­di­vid­ual be­liev­ers and com­mu­ni­ties a fit­ting op­por­tu­nity to reaf­firm their per­sonal vo­ca­tion to be stew­ards of cre­ation” and re­flect upon “the adop­tion of ap­pro­pri­ate lifestyles,” the let­ter said.

Fran­cis has be­come a lead­ing de­fender of the en­vi­ron­ment, par­tic­u­larly in the fight against cli­mate change.

He pub­lished an en­vi­ron­men­tal en­cycli­cal ear­lier this year which de­nounced ex­ploita­tion of the poor and waste of the planet’s re­sources.

He is due to ad­dress the U.N. Spe­cial Sum­mit on Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment in Septem­ber.

That gath­er­ing comes amid ef­forts to forge a world­wide deal on cli­mate change in Paris in De­cem­ber, with the aim of lim­it­ing global warm­ing to 2 de­grees Cel­sius over pre-in­dus­trial lev­els.

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