Forty Catholic institutions, including the Belgian bishops’ conference and a leading Church social welfare agency in South Africa, have decided to divest from fossil fuel companies.
The organisations cited the call of Pope Francis in his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home, to take steps to protect the environment as well as the importance of making investments that lead to a carbon-neutral economy in an effort to address climate change.
Up to 97 per cent of climate scientists have attributed climate change to human activity, at least in part.
The 3rd October announcement came as the monthlong ‘Season of Creation’ ended and the Church prepared to observe the feast of St Francis of Assisi the next day.
In most cases, divestment is expected to take several years to accomplish.
“What is clear is that momentum in fossil fuel divestment is growing a lot. This is a very concrete sign of the voice of the Catholic community,” said Tomas Insua, executive director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, which organised the effort following a divestment conference in Rome earlier this year.
Picture: A dump truck hauls coal and sediment near Rock Springs, Wyo., on 4th April. (CNS photo/Jim Urquhart, Reuters).