“There is only one ingredient that is required: to change everything, we need everyone. History is our proof that the impossible is smaller than we think. The abolition of slavery. The end of apartheid. The spread of universal suffrage. All proof that the future is ours to shape. We just need to step out and claim it.” ~ The Guardian (1914)
As Pope Francis, I was born and raised in Argentina: a country of multiple contradictions and injustices, a country that has lived through coup d’états and financial collapses, which has been abused by both locals and strangers. A rich and astonishingly beautiful country that has been ransacked and poisoned and its population separated into those who can and have and those who don’t by ongoing social and economic injustices…
According to Wikipedia, Catholics in Argentina have been ranked between 70% and as much as 90%. I’m part of the other 10% of “agnostics and atheists” but being raised among such a majority, I know that for many Catholics around the world, what the Vatican (and the Pope) say is important and respected only when and if it fits their own priorities and beliefs…
Would the Pope’s 2015 Encyclical be taking seriously? How much impact would it have in politicians, corporations, businessmen and decision-makers around the world? And how much on regular people, Catholics or not?
Most environmentalists I have read so far praise Pope Francis for this courageous speaking up in the name of the Church (as this makes now this position “official”). While I haven’t had the time to read the entire document (only exerts from different media articles), I am surprised and strangely proud by his clarity and the fact that Francis emphasizes social justice and condemns “reductionists” and short-sighted approaches such as cap-and-trade and un-tested technologies (he actually condemns too much reliance in technology and asks for a change of heart)
Since I learned of this complex predicament (and its many relationships with other issues), I have despaired for the lack of true leadership: somebody with the power to ask for sacrifices based on moral and ethics, a call for action that includes absolutely everybody from rich to poor but emphasizes the serious responsibility of the rich towards the problem (and towards the poor!)
I can’t remember how many times I have imagined/dreamed and expected a massive call, a massive collaboration among those in power, those who care and those under that power: a mobilization so huge that we see the calls beyond the converted: in malls and TVs, media of all kind and the streets: a celebration for the change to come, a celebration for the change so much needed…
I know in many places this celebration may start (or turn) to a revolution or a war: as it has started (or continued) already in so many places around the world…because injustices and destruction of that what gives us life may turn into anger, frustration and unbearable pain
As I said, I am not a Catholic and have always steered away from discussions about religions…I have dear friends who are Muslim, Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Pagan and atheists.
I see Pope Francis’s call as a call to everybody, independently of affiliation: a call to the hearts…not out of fear but out of anger and sadness for the destruction and what has been lost…and out of love and hope for what we could create if we start thinking (and acting) in a more responsible, ethical and loving way…
Something big needs to happen, bigger than Permaculture projects and frustrating long meetings with no actual results; bigger than Transition towns of already converted dreamers; bigger than scientists and authors trying to reduce denial with more evidence and science…it has to come from the hearts and guts of each and all of us.
Thanks Pope Francis for being courageous and give us a voice!
Of the Encyclical:
“…a document infused with an activist anger and concern for the poor, casting blame on the indifference of the powerful in the face of certain evidence that humanity is at risk following 200 years of misuse of resources.”
Links and resources:
Current levels of CO2: http://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/carbon-dioxide/