June 19th 2015 – Statement of Sincere Thanks to Pope Francis
The Hong Kong Interfaith Climate Network (HKICN) sincerely thanks Pope Francis for his encyclical Laudato Si ‘Praise be to you, my Lord,’ that calls on all people of faith and none; the whole human family to care for creation and to protect our common home.
At the heart of Pope Francis message is the recognition of the urgency of the ecological crisis and that the climate is a common good. He asks us to recognise the immensity of the ecological challenge and that we all have a responsibility to act. We support Pope Francis in his call on the human family to shift away from the use of fossil fuels.
Pope Francis also recognises that all life on earth is interconnected and that global inequality due to poverty and the destruction of the environment are interrelated. Pope Francis describes this twin approach of helping the poor and defending the environment as “integral ecology.”
In particular, we join the Pope in his call for greater dialogue and education to reduce the human causes of climate change. A personal conversion is needed – where the changing of human hearts is guided by the universal common good. We also strongly agree that we can all learn from ancient lessons, found in different religious traditions, that all tell us “less is more.”
We also acknowledge the encyclical’s stance on science when it says: “science and religion, with their distinctive approaches to understanding reality, can enter into an intense dialogue fruitful for both” (61). He goes onto to say: “If we are truly concerned to develop an ecology capable of remedying the damage we have done, no branch of the sciences and no form of wisdom can be left out, and that includes religion and the language particular to it” (63).
Hong Kong as a “World City” at the heart of Asia, we believe, with its wealth of both technology and cultural diversity, it has the potential, to become a pivot for positive change in the Region, ecological and moral. Laudato Si is an invaluable learning resource to that end.
The Hong Kong Interfaith Climate Network (HKICN) was set up to support the spiritual and moral imperative of interfaith action on climate change in Hong Kong. The HKICN is also connected to global faith organisations. Further information can be found at: www.hkicn.wordpress.com