Wednesday, October 2, 2013

An Open Letter to Pope Francis: an Assembly for Life on Earth

Dearest Pope Francis,

We, the undersigned Christians, as well as persons of other religions and persons of good will, address this Open Letter to You, with a very special petition. We would like You to call a global event, such as an Assembly, in defense of life on Earth.

Today life is mortally wounded: by hunger (900 million people worldwide), by thirst (1200 million persons do not have clean water to drink every day, and 2400 million lack basic sanitation), by war, by the destruction of the environment (the soil, water, biodiversity, air) and, above all, humanity and all forms of life are threatened by astonishing climate changes. As the Aparecida Document says, we are experiencing not only an epoch of changes, but a change of epoch (DAp 44). A consumerist and predatory society such as at present holds no future for humanity as a whole.

When creating the world, God gave the Earth to men and women for us “to cultivate it and to guard it” (Gen 2,15). After the Flood, when Noah left the Ark with his family and all the animals that were there, God made with them a primordial alliance, saying: “For my part, I will establish a covenant with you, and with your descendents; with every living creature that is with you, with the birds, the domestic and wild animals. In sum, with all the animals of the Earth that leave the ark with you” (Gen 9, 9-10). Apostle Paul himself tells us that “creation itself awaits liberation from the bondage of corruption into the freedom that is the glory of the children of God” (Rom 8, 21). Thus, God loves all that God has created and has commanded us to care for this divine creation.

The traditional and original peoples and, lately, the scientists, have warned that all forms of life on the face of the Earth are in danger. Yet, there exists no response from the political and economic world that is equal to the challenge of this historical moment. As You, Yourself, have said, we cannot passively accept the globalization of indifference.

You have the moral and spiritual authority with all of humanity to call it to this urgent debate and even more urgently needed actions. We petition you as a means of contributing to the effectiveness of your gestures, which call us to care for and protect life under threat. You expressed these gestures on the way to Lampedusa, during the World Gathering of Youth in Brazil, in your visit with the immigrants in Italy, and in the fast against war. If You do call an Assembly to defend life in its plenitude, listen not only to the specialists, but also to the original peoples impacted by the destruction of their environment, to those affected by, and refugees from, climate change, to the victims of hunger and thirst. Certainly, a great part of humanity will promptly heed this call.

This is what we, the undersigned, also wish. With respect and a fraternal embrace, in the spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi, in communion with all forms of life and all of humanity, we confirm our petition.

Brasilia-DF, September 16, 2013
or,  directly in the link of  avaaz

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