FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Elena Gaona
Friday, Sept. 1, 2023
Catholic organizations pray and ask for debt forgiveness and end to fossil fuels at COP28
Washington, DC - As the official Season of Creation begins today, a coalition of U.S. Catholic organizations have launched a #COP28 prayer and action campaign to ask the Biden Administration to stop fossil fuel expansion and consider the forgiveness of debt of developing nations at COP 28.
“A Call for Climate Justice this Season of Creation” is a joint effort from Catholic Climate Covenant, Laudato Si’ Movement, St.Columban Mission for Justice, Peace and Ecology, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team, Ignatian Solidarity Network, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, and Franciscan Action Network.
“The theme of this year’s Season of Creation is ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow’, but we see our most vulnerable neighbors in developing nations suffering some of the most catastrophic impacts of climate change, though they have contributed the least to its causes,” said Jose Aguto, executive director of Catholic Climate Covenant. “Pope Francis said in Laudato Si’ ‘The foreign debt of poor countries has become a way of controlling them . . . . . The developed countries ought to help pay this debt . . . by assisting poorer countries to support policies and programmes of sustainable development.’
“We are called by our faith to seek justice, and to help them find peace,” Aguto said.
“Our actions are driven by love and justice as our Catholic faith calls us,” said Anna Johnson, North America Senior Program Manager, Laudato Si’ Movement. “Catholics across the nation and the world can bring Gospel hope in the ecological crisis. Our faithful, prayerful action is needed now more than ever. Pope Francis is urging us to, ‘Put an end to the senseless war against creation.’ We can work together towards that.”
The “A Call for Climate Justice this Season of Creation” campaign includes U.S. Catholics taking four steps ahead of COP28:
Organizing prayer services in ecologically impacted locations near them
Signing the forgiveness of debt letter (online) during the prayer services, or anytime during Season of Creation
Taking pictures of the places and people gathered at the prayer services
Posting their prayer services to social media tagging President Biden, Special Envoy Kerry, and Secretary Yellen, and letting them know Catholics are #PrayingForYou to take strong action on fossil fuels and debt relief.
On Sept. 6 at 1:00 pm ET the coalition of Catholic organizations will host a related Season of Creation Webinar: Speakers on this webinar will explain why the forgiveness of the debts upon developing nations is a critical climate solution and why prayer and public witness can help our nation commit to a just transition away from fossil fuels, as Catholics practice the two feet of love in action. Register for Webinar
Aldo Caliari, Senior Director of Policy and Campaigns, Jubilee USA
Laura Kelly, Director, Shaping Sustainable Markets, International Institute for Environment and Development (tentative)
Fr. Eduardo Agosta Scarel, O.Carm., Laudato Si’ Movement
Jose Aguto, Executive Director, Catholic Climate Covenant
Anna Johnson, North America Senior Program Manager, Laudato Si’ Movement
To schedule interviews contact Elena Gaona, 202-907-9717, email@example.com