VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis called on lawmakers worldwide on Saturday to overcome “the narrow boundaries” of party politics in order to quickly reach a consensus on combating climate change.
The Pope reached out to parliamentarians who were in Rome for a preparatory meeting ahead of the annual UN climate change conference, which begins October 31 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Francis referred to a joint appeal he and other religious leaders signed this week calling on governments to commit to ambitious goals at the UN conference that experts see as a critical opportunity to address the global threat Combat warming.
“Everyone has to play a role to face this challenge,” Francis told MPs from many countries present. “That of the political and government heads is particularly important and even decisive.”
“This demanding change of direction requires great wisdom, foresight and concern for the common good: in short, the fundamental virtues of good politics,” said Francis.
Francis previously said he intended to attend the UN’s upcoming COP26 conference, but the Vatican announced on Friday that it would not attend and the Vatican delegation would be led by Foreign Minister Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
No explanation was given, but the 84-year-old Pope underwent bowel surgery in July.
On Saturday, the Pope expressed the hope that the legislature’s efforts at the climate conference and beyond “will be illuminated by the two important principles of responsibility and solidarity”.
“We owe that to the youth, the future generations,” he said.
Taking care of the “common home” of humanity, according to Francis, “does not only mean discouraging and punishing inappropriate practices, but above all also treading new paths,” which correspond better to the climate protection goals and which “lead to the positive outcome of the To contribute to COP26 “.
Before his speech, Francis Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, held a private audience.
“His Holiness’s guidance is a source of joy and hope for Catholics and for all human beings, and challenges each of us to be good stewards of God’s creation, caring for the climate, embracing refugees, immigrants and the poor, and dignity and divinity in everyone, ”Pelosi said in a statement after her audience with Francis.
She called the Pope’s 2015 encyclical, in which he exhorted people to protect the environment, “a tremendous challenge for the global community to take decisive action against the climate crisis, paying special attention to the most vulnerable communities”.
During their encounter, Pelosi thanked “for the immense moral clarity and urgency that His Holiness continues to bring to the climate crisis,” the statement said.
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