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Pastoral Letter by Archbishop Dermot Farrell

In recent weeks, Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin has published a pastoral letter entitled 'The Cry of the Earth - the Cry of the Poor'. It was published to coincide with the 'Sean of Creation' that runs from 1st September until 4th October. In the letter he mobilises Catholics, Christians and people of good will to respond to the climate catastrophe. It is a direct appeal to parishes and faith communities to come together and explore what changes we need to make and can make to respond to perhaps the greatest moral problems of our time.

The full letter can be read here below:

Here are some quotes from the document that stand out:

‘Never has humanity had such power over itself, yet

nothing ensures that it will be used wisely, particularly

when we consider how it is currently being used’.

(Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, 104)

‘I ask you to join with me in reading our world – the ‘Book of Nature’, as the ancients called it. Alongside the Book of Nature, I also ask you to join me in reading the Scriptures, the Word of God – the other great book of our faith – in a quest for insight, inspiration

and strength so as to live in a new way on this earth, our common

home. Nothing less is called for’.

In the light of the climate crisis, ‘we permit ourselves to be seduced by the

illusion that, in the end, things will somehow work out, that

some fantastic all-embracing solution will be discovered. This

denial is nothing less than the doorway of death: death of nature’s

diversity, of its beauty and mystery, death of people driven from their homes and their lands by drought, floods, hunger, or raw economic necessity, death of the dreams we have for our children and our children’s children’.

“There will be no solution to this crisis without

facing up to our obligations to our sisters and brothers whom the

West has left behind. The ‘inseparable bond between concern

for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and

interior peace’ (LS, 10) is the true foundation of the way out of

this crisis, which is in fact the way to life”.

“The climate crisis is a profoundly human crisis with deep ethical,

spiritual and religious dimensions. It will only be solved if we

change: we need an inner change of heart … a change in lifestyle. This means at the moral level a greater emphasis on justice: social, intergenerational and climate justice…social, intergenerational, and climate justice. We do

well to ask: is it just that those who contribute least to the climate

crisis suffer the most from its effects, especially the poor but

also the younger generations?’

‘We are called to act, to move beyond a half-hearted

acknowledgment of a crisis, which is in reality a hidden denial.

We cannot continue to keep our head in the sand when the world

around us is being turned into a desert’.

“In light of all that has been said above, it is clear that care for

creation ‘is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian

experience’ (LS, 217), but rather defines who we are as a Christian

people. The ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion … Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue’ (LS, 217). This crisis demands of us a conversion, one that can be termed an ecological conversion”.


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