The World Council of Churches (WCC) is calling on people to embrace “radically new ways of living” in response to the threat of global warming.
On September 1, the WCC embarked on its yearly celebration of “Season of Creation,” an ecological period when “Christians around the world renew their relationship with the Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment.”
While September 1 has been celebrated for a number of years as a day of prayer for creation, the World Council of Churches “was instrumental in making the special time a season, extending the celebration from 1 September to 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis.”
In 2019, Pope Francis officially embraced the season of creation as an annual event for the Catholic Church.
On Tuesday, the pope released his own message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, in which he called on everyone to combat the “climate emergency” while extolling the Paris climate accord.
In his message, the pontiff lists off a litany of signs that climate change is destroying the planet: “Forests are leached, topsoil erodes, fields fail, deserts advance, seas acidify and storms intensify,” he writes. “Creation is groaning!”
“The disintegration of biodiversity, spiralling climate disasters, and unjust impact of the current pandemic on the poor and vulnerable: all these are a wakeup call in the face of our rampant greed and consumption,” he says.
Francis insists that “we are in the midst of a climate emergency” and therefore “climate restoration is of utmost importance.”
“We are running out of time, as our children and young people have reminded us,” he declares. “We need to do everything in our capacity to limit global average temperature rise under the threshold of 1.5°C enshrined in the Paris Climate Agreement, for going beyond that will prove catastrophic.”