Pope Francis: Climate Change ‘One of the Great Moral Issues of Our Time’

Pope Francis addresses the meeting "Faith and Science: Towards COP26" on October 4, 2021 in The Vatican, sending an appeal to participants in the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, scheduled from November 1 to 12 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by ALESSANDRO DI MEO / POOL …
ALESSANDRO DI MEO/POOL/AFP via Getty

ROME — Pope Francis has written a letter to the Catholics of Scotland urging them to pray for the “fruitful outcome” of the COP26 U.N. Climate Change Conference.

This gathering meant to address “one of the great moral issues of our time,” the pope asserted in his letter, which was posted Monday on the Vatican website.

“As you know, I had hoped to take part in the COP26 meeting in Glasgow and to spend some time, however briefly, with you,” he told them. “I regret that this did not prove possible.”

The pontiff appealed to the Catholics of Scotland to pray for world leaders, asking God for the gifts of wisdom and strength to meet this “grave challenge” with “concrete decisions.”

Humanity will be judged by God if it fails to effectively deal with the climate crisis, Francis warned, repeating a message he has delivered previously.

“Time is running out,” he said, and “this occasion must not be wasted, lest we have to face God’s judgement for our failure to be faithful stewards of the world he has entrusted to our care.”

In his letter, the pope also assured Scottish Catholics of his prayers for them and your families, “for the young, the elderly, the sick and those who in any way are suffering the effects of the pandemic.”

“In these challenging times, may all Christ’s followers in Scotland renew their commitment to be convincing witnesses to the joy of the Gospel and its power to bring light and hope to every effort to build a future of justice, fraternity and prosperity, both material and spiritual,” he said.

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