In June of this year, the Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ was published. A Papal Encyclical often takes the form of a letter addressed by the Pope to the bishops, but this letter from Pope Francis is addressed to everyone and concerns the ‘Care of our Common Home’. The Holy Father takes the present developing ecological crisis as a reality and tells us that climate change affects everyone, but especially the poorest and most vulnerable among us.

“The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.” LS §13

CAFOD, the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, now considers that climate change is the single biggest threat to reducing poverty. The people CAFOD works with are experiencing the effects of changes in climate right now, whether it’s typhoons (and here we can think of typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines in 2013), or floods destroying entire communities, or unpredictable seasons for farmers leaving millions hungry.

At the end of this month world leaders will meet in Paris to agree a global climate deal. Please pray that they may be inspired through the gift of the Holy Spirit to make the right decisions.

CAFOD have also invited us to join with over 100 Catholic organisations worldwide, as part of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, to call on our Prime Minister and on other world leaders to take urgent action to prevent climate change pushing people deeper into poverty.

If you would like to voice your concern, you are invited to sign the CAFOD One Climate, One World petition available in to sign until Wednesday 11th at Our Lady and St Patrick’s Church, Teignmouth, or you can sign online by following the link above.