Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, reflects on the upcoming Season of Creation which runs from the 1 September to 4 October. Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, reflects on the upcoming Season of Creation which runs from the 1 September to 4 October. 

Primate of All Ireland: We are all called to be caring stewards of creation

The Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, reflects in his homily on Sunday on the upcoming Season of Creation, which runs from 1 September to 4 October.

By Vatican News staff reporter

“We cannot simply leave it to governments to solve these immense problems [of climate change].  Humility calls on each one of us to share both the burden and the search for solutions.  In our personal lives at home, and in our schools, parishes and communities, the challenge rests with each and all of us.” 

Those were the words of the Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin as he marked the beginning of the Season of Creation which kicks off on 1 September.

In his homily during Mass on Sunday, Archbishop Martin took inspiration from the message of Pope Francis for the forthcoming Season of Creation which runs until 4 October.

The theme for this year is, Listening to the Voice of Creation.

The Archbishop noted that the month long celebration closes on the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi - the saint who had a wonderful sense of all creation in harmony, blessing and praising God.

Climate impact

However, taking his cue from Pope Francis’ message, he observed that scientists are warning of the destructive impact that climate change is having on the planet.  “All of creation does not appear to be singing in harmony – there is dissonance, with many wrong notes,” he said.

The Archbishop went on to say, “that dissonance, that lack of harmony and noise, can be heard especially in the cry of the poor in those parts of the world most impacted by the effects of climate change.”

He pointed out that this summer “we have seen the devastation of forest fires, lost crops, homes and livelihoods destroyed, scorched earth, massive floods, and temperatures never before recorded.  On top of this, war continues to disrupt the food chain, pollutes the atmosphere still further, and exacerbates the world’s huge dependence on fossil fuels like oil and gas,” Archbishop Martin said.

Caring stewards of creation  

From a faith point of view, emphasised the Archbishop, “God is calling us today, more than ever, to be caring stewards of creation, to protect and nourish our planet and its resources, and not to selfishly waste them or ruthlessly and excessively exploit and destroy them.” 

In May this year, the ‘State of the Global Climate 2021’ report was published, which said the past seven years have been the hottest on record. This document will be used as an official document for the COP27 climate conference, taking place in Egypt in November.

But the Primate of All Ireland stressed it is up to everyone, not just governments, to care for our common home.

Ecological conversion

Pope Francis, he noted, speaks of “ecological conversion” and this begins by asking ourselves: how might I change my lifestyle?  How can I use more respectfully the good things of this earth that God has given us?  Can I make some personal sacrifices in answer to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor that is knocking out of tune the harmony of the great cosmic choir?  Can I accept that less is sometimes more?

Archbishop Martin recalled that last October, Pope Francis and other religious and faith leaders met with many scientists and experts, concluding that we are currently “at a moment of opportunity and truth”.  “Future generations will never forgive us if we squander this precious opportunity’, they said.  “We have inherited a beautiful garden; we must not leave a desert to our children”.

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29 August 2022, 12:59