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All faiths must work together on ecological crisis

By Sarah Mac Donald - 18 August, 2015

Cardinal Peter Turkson sends message of support to two-day Islamic climate change symposium taking place in Istanbul.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Dr Lorna Gold, Trócaire’s head of policy and advocacy, Trócaire’s Executive Director Éamonn Meehan.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Dr Lorna Gold, Trócaire’s head of policy and advocacy, Trócaire’s Executive Director Éamonn Meehan.

The President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace sent greetings on Monday to a two-day Islamic climate change symposium taking place in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

In a message conveyed by Fr John T. Brinkman, Cardinal Peter Turkson described the ongoing ecological crisis as “the gravest and most intractable of all” the problems facing the modern world.

A great motivation which unites Christians, Muslims and many others is the firm belief in God, the Cardinal’s message stated.

“This faith compels us to care for the magnificent gift he has bestowed upon us and, God-willing, upon those, who will follow us. Our urgent action will surely be more effective if we believers of different religious communities find ways to work together.”

The Cardinal emphasises in his message that we are living at “a particularly turbulent and decisive moment in world history”.

He also cites Pope Francis’ encyclical letter, Laudato si’ and the Pontiff’s invitation to each living person to undergo an ecological conversion of heart.

“We have to re-imagine our commitment to what he calls ‘the care of our common home’, this planet, the earth, in the light of our faith. It is not enough, Pope Francis says, to propose merely technical solutions, for they are “powerless to solve the serious problems of our world if humanity loses its compass, if we lose sight of the great motivations which make it possible for us to live in harmony, to make sacrifices and to treat others well.” (LS, 200)

A great motivation which unites Christians, Muslims and many others is the firm belief in God, the head of the Vatican dicastery for Justice and Peace suggests.

“This faith compels us to care for the magnificent gift he has bestowed upon us and, God-willing, upon those, who will follow us.”

Our urgent action will surely be more effective if we believers of different religious communities find ways to work together, Cardinal Turkson appeals.

He concludes his message by stating that, “It is with great joy and in a spirit of solidarity that I express to you the promise of the Catholic Church to pray for the success of your initiative and her desire to work with you in the future to care for our common home and thus to glorify the God who created us.”

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