Q: It was very interesting to hear you talk about, not only from the top down, but the middle-out, and also from grassroots up, in terms of care for our common home. There’s been a lot of criticism of politicians and international leaders of not doing enough. Is there a way that the faithful in the churches, the other religions, can act apart from the gridlock that we sometimes see in the political world?
The answer is obviously yes, but that will not be enough. It is necessary but not sufficient. So, you will have seen, in the declaration made by the Holy Father, by the Ecumenical Patriarch, and myself a few weeks back—two or three weeks back—that calls on governments, on businesses, on individuals, and on churches and faith groups, to change their actions.
The trouble is any one of those that is left out will undermine the process. So, governments need to change the trade rules and tax rules, in order to incentivize the green economy for the future.
Companies need to change their practices, and move to zero-carbon; individuals need to change their practices; and faith groups need to be there demonstrating, by their actions, and appealing by their words for these changes to happen, and supporting the changing public opinion.
I saw the president of Italy Tuesday morning, and he said more than once that we must lead public opinion. The faith groups must lead public opinion, and I think he was quite right to challenge us in that way.
Read and listen to it all.