Vigil during the COP26 in Glasgow Vigil during the COP26 in Glasgow 

COP26: Pope warns of God’s judgment for failure to care for creation

In a letter to the Catholics of Scotland, Pope Francis prays for “wisdom and strength” for leaders at the COP26 meeting on the environment, warning that “this occasion must not be wasted, lest we have to face God’s judgment.”

By Christopher Wells

“Time is running out,” Pope Francis said in a Letter to the Catholics of Scotland, made public earlier this week by the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

The occasion of the COP26 conference, he said, “must not be wasted, lest we have to face God’s judgment for our failure to be faithful stewards of the world He has entrusted to our care.”

A great moral issue of our time

Pope Francis expressed his regret at being unable to attend the Conference in Scotland and meet with Scottish Catholics. However, he said, he was grateful to the faithful for “joining in prayer for my intentions and for the fruitful outcome” of the meeting, which is facing one of “the great moral issues of our time: the preservation of God’s creation, given to us as a garden to be cultivated and as a common home for our human family.”

He called for prayer for “wisdom and strength” for leaders “charged with guiding the international community as they seek to meet the grave challenge with concrete decisions inspired by responsibility towards present and future generations.”

Persevering in proven fidelity

The Pope’s letter was dated 9 November, the feast of the Dedication of St John Lateran, which “symbolizes the Church’s communion in faith and charity with the See of Peter. He asked the faithful of Scotland for prayers for himself and his fellow bishops, and encouraged them to continue to persevere in their “proven fidelity to the Lord and His Church.”

Renewed commitment

In these challenging times, he said, “may all Christ’s followers in Scotland renew their commitment to be convincing witnesses to the joy of the Gospel and its power to bring light and hope to every effort to build a future of justice, fraternity and prosperity, both material and spiritual.”

Pope Francis concluded his letter by assuring Scottish Catholics of his prayers and commending them “to the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church.”

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11 November 2021, 10:34