Catholics highlight the moral dimension of climate change

June 17, 2015, Rome, Italy. Today Pope Francis officially released his anticipated encyclical, Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home. This document brings a critical dimension to the frustrating climate change debate about science vs. skepticism, focusing on the moral responsibility of those countries with high carbon footprints to understand and address the impacts of affluent lifestyles, of waste and overconsumption of natural resources, on the world's poor.

Concern among Catholics about climate change and sustainability is not restricted to the Vatican but is a key ethical issue throughout this global community of over one billion. While not all of the faith agree, many are organizing in action networks as well as within their parishes. In the metro Washington region, ISF has met with members of the Catholic Climate Covenant, the Franciscan Action Network, the Care for Creation initiative of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, as well as the new Sustainability Working Group at Holy Trinity, which ISF has been working with closely over past months.

However, it is not only Catholics who recognize the moral imperative of climate and sustainability issues. Other religions are also bringing this critical dimension to faith-based communities around the world --IslamJudaism, Protestantism, BuddhismHinduismBaha'i