Pope Francis and Orthodox Christian leader Patriarch Bartholomew have released a passionate joint appeal to protect the environment, marking the first time that a pope and the ecumenical patriarch have joined forces in such a way.
They made their appeal for the Earth, a major theme of Francis’ papacy, on Friday (Sept. 1), as Texans grappled with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, South Asians coped with floods that have left millions homeless and scientists warned that such natural disasters will multiply if climate change is not addressed.
Both the pope, leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, and the patriarch, leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians, expressed an urgent need in their appeal for global powers to take action to stave off the ravages of environmental degradation.
The top clergymen wrote that they want those in positions of responsibility to follow the “consensus of the world for the healing of our wounded creation,” which many read as a backing of the Paris climate accord, an agreement by 195 countries to reduce carbon emissions.
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