In Laudato Si the Holy Spirit has inspired Pope Francis to speak not as a scientist, a politician or an economist but as an apostle whose voice is authentically Christian and biblical. The word he speaks is a call to action which is also Christian and biblical. He urges us to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, and to act on what we hear.
We in Oceania are on the front line of climate change. Elsewhere it may seem a matter of scientific debate or a distant prospect, but for the peoples of the Pacific it is rapidly becoming a matter of life and death. That is why there is an urgency in our response to the Pope’s call for “ecological conversion” and the action flowing from it.
In Oceania and around the world, there is movement. Religious men and women, Church agencies, ecumenical and interreligious groups and especially young people are part of this journey; and we as bishops want to walk with them into an ever greater awareness of the interconnectedness of all things in the God-given web of life.
Together in Brisbane to launch the Season of Creation, we make a joint commitment to listen to the voice of creation across the Pacific, seeking to hear the voice of the Creator. We commit to acting upon what we hear – in the belief that we are not powerless but have been entrusted with the power of Easter faith which not only opens the eye and ear but also enables us to act so that humanity may find a way home to Paradise. “To God whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine be the glory from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
+ Peter Loy Chong +Mark Coleridge
Archbishop of Suva Archbishop of Brisbane