Citing Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ on humanity’s relationship with the earth and each other, seven Catholic institutions from around the world said they plan to divest from fossil fuel corporations.
Joining the divestment movement were St Louis-based SSM Health; Jesuit Fathers of Upper Canada; Missionary Society of St Columban, based in Hong Kong; Presentation Society of Australia and Papua New Guinea; Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesians) in Italy; Diocese of Umuarama, Brazil; and Federation of Christian Organisations for the International Voluntary Service in Italy.
The organisations join a steadily growing movement that is seeing hundreds of groups worldwide divest from companies involved in the extraction of coal, oil and natural gas in recent years and turning to firms developing renewable energy instead.
Up to 97 per cent of climate scientists have attributed climate change to human activity, at least in part.
“It’s important because we’re finally, as a Catholic community, starting to connect the dots between Laudato Si’ and our investment policies,” said Tomas Insua, coordinator of the Global Catholic Climate Movement, which announced the divestment plans on 4th October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi.
“This is the tip of something much bigger,” Insua told Catholic News Service.
Picture: Protesters chant and display signs in front of the Smithsonian Castle during a 2015 anti-fossil fuel rally in Washington. Citing Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ on humanity’s relationship with the earth and each other, seven Catholic institutions from around the world said they plan to divest from fossil fuel corporations. (CNS photo/Shawn Thew, EPA).