Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
st francis of assisi statue in marylandA statue of St. Francis of Assisi is pictured outside an animal hospital in Prince Fredrick, Md., July 22, 2021. On his feast today, the Vatican hosted a premiere of a documentary about climate change. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—The Vatican hosted the global premiere of a new documentary on the urgent need to address climate change on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the same day the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 2015 Paris Agreement entered into force for the Holy See.

The two events Oct. 4 helped mark the feast of the patron saint of animals and ecology, and the namesake of Pope Francis.

The Vatican became a formal party to the U.N. convention in July and declared at the same time that it intended also to formally join the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“Both documents will enter into force for the Holy See, in the name and on behalf of the Vatican City State, on 4 October 2022, the Solemnity of St. Francis,” said a joint statement by the pontifical academies of Sciences and Social Sciences and the Vatican Secretariat of State’s section for relations with states.

Cardinal Michael Czerny: “Clearly, the great treasure of Laudato Si’’s wisdom needs to become far more deeply known and effectively put into practice.”

It was the same day a new film was launched at the Vatican for the world premiere of “The Letter: A Message For Our Earth,” based on Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical letter, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home.”

Presented by YouTube Originals, the film was written and directed by Emmy-winner Nicolas Brown and produced by the Oscar-winning production company “Off the Fence.” It was made in partnership with the Laudato Si’ Movement, the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the Dicastery for Communication.

In the seven years since the pope’s landmark encyclical was published, “the environmental crisis of our common home has worsened drastically,” Cardinal Michael Czerny, prefect of the integral development dicastery, said at a Vatican news conference Oct. 4.

“Clearly, the great treasure of Laudato Si’’s wisdom needs to become far more deeply known and effectively put into practice,” he said.

The film features activists representing wildlife, Indigenous peoples, young people and the poor—the voices of those who are the most impacted by the consequences of climate change.

At the news conference, Hoesung Lee, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, praised the pope’s letter as being in dialogue with science and emphasized action was urgently needed.

“The scientific community welcomes the opportunity to engage with artists and the people of faith. Both faith and art hold a great convening power and can inspire genuine collective climate action,” he said.

The film features activists representing wildlife, Indigenous peoples, young people and the poor—the voices of those who are least listened to, but are the most impacted by the consequences of climate change, Brown said at the news conference. The film includes their meeting with Pope Francis last year to talk about their national and personal challenges and what needs to be done.

The activists included: Chief Cacique Odair “Dadá” Borari from the Amazon rainforest in Brazil; Ridhima Pandey, a 13-year-old climate activist from India; Arouna Kandé, a climate refugee from Senegal; U.S. scientists Greg Asner and Robin Martin; and Lorna Gold, president of Laudato Si’ Movement.

The film is streaming for free at theletterfilm.org and YouTube Originals. People were encouraged to host viewings on a large screen at their parish, school or local community in order to encourage dialogue and action.

The latest from america

Coast Guard Station Islamorada small boat crew follows an overloaded sailing vessel off Rodriguez Key, Florida, Nov. 21, 2022. Rescue crews battled six to ten feet seas and 25 miles per hour winds to safely remove the people from the vessel. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Robert Collins)
People who hope to escape Haiti’s cholera outbreak and life-threatening insecurity cannot wait for a more welcome climate to emerge in the United States.
Kevin ClarkeDecember 05, 2022
Dan Lipinski, one of the last pro-life Democrats to serve in Congress, calls on the pro-life movement to come together on federal legislation that limits abortion and supports pregnant women and their children.
Daniel LipinskiDecember 05, 2022
jesuit father marko rupnik speaks in front of a microphone
Slovenian Jesuit and artist Father Marko Rupnik has been barred from hearing confessions or offering spiritual direction after complaints about his ministry.
A priest in white robes speaks with a young girl in a jacket that reads "Newtown Lacrosse"
Reflecting on the horror and the events of the intervening years, Msgr. Weiss said: “Gratitude sustains me. I pray a lot and try to keep myself in the Lord’s hands.”