Pope: Climate Emergency Poses Challenge of Civilization

via Vatican News:

While recognizing the growing agreement “on the need to promote processes of transition”, to encourage solidarity, and reinforce the links between climate change and poverty, the Pope says there is “much concern about the ability of these processes to respect the timeline required by science”.

Pope Francis asks if there is “the political will to allocate with honesty, responsibility and courage, more human, financial and technical resources to mitigate the negative effects of climate change”. The Pope confirms the need for a “clear, far-sighted and strong political will”, and calls us “to reflect conscientiously on the significance of our consumption and production models and on the processes of education and awareness to make them consistent with human dignity.”

In his message, Pope Francis says we are facing a “challenge of civilization” in favour of “the common good and of a change of perspective that places this same dignity at the centre of our action, which is clearly expressed in the “human face” of climate emergencies.” The Pope confirms that there remains a “window of opportunity, but we must not allow it to close”.

Pope Francis speaks of how young people today “show a heightened sensitivity to the complex problems that arise from this emergency.” We must not place the burden on the next generations to take on the problems caused by the previous ones, he writes.

Quote of the Day

Pope Francis: “Corruption undermines the dignity of the person and shatters all good and beautiful ideals. All of society is called upon to make a concrete commitment to combat the cancer of corruption which, with the illusion of quick and easy profits, in reality impoverishes everyone.”

Pete Frates, Champion of the Ice Bucket Challenge, Dies at 34

via the Boston Globe:

Mr. Frates was 34 when he died Monday in his Beverly home, his family at his side. Through his work helping to raise tens of millions of dollars by popularizing the Ice Bucket Challenge, his impact on ALS research will be felt for generations.

Using social media, the former BC star center fielder popularized the Ice Bucket Challenge as a way to focus attention on ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

In the process, he inspired an unprecedented outpouring of support for research — more than $220 million worldwide, according to the ALS Association.

“Upon my diagnosis, it became abundantly clear that my calling was to raise ALS awareness and to fight for a brighter future for all those affected today and those yet to come,” Mr. Frates, who lived in Beverly, wrote in a 2014 column for Bleacher Report, a sports website.

His family’s statement said that Mr. Frates — “a husband to Julie, a father to Lucy, a son to John and Nancy, a brother to Andrew and Jennifer” — had encouraged countless people through his advocacy.

“Pete was an inspiration to so many people around the world who drew strength from his courage and resiliency,” the family said. “A natural born leader and the ultimate teammate, Pete was a role model for all, especially young athletes, who looked up to him for his bravery and unwavering positive spirit in the face of adversity.”

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for December 2019: For the Future of the Very Young

Every child who is marginalized, abused, abandoned, without schooling, or without medical care, is a cry that rises up to God.

In each of them is Christ, who came to our world as a defenseless child; it is Christ who looks at us through the eyes of each of these children.

Let us pray that every country decides to take necessary measures to make the future of children, especially those who suffer, a priority.

Consumerism Is a Virus That Attacks The Faith

via Vatican News:

Pope Francis described consumerism as “a virus that attacks the faith at the roots”, because it makes us believe that life depends only on what we have, so we forget about God. “Even if the Lord comes, you just follow the appetites that come to you”, he said. The real danger is that which anesthetizes the heart, added the Pope, letting ourselves be burdened and dissipated by our needs.

Things are never enough, said Pope Francis. “Our houses are filled with things but empty of children”, he said. “This is the demographic winter we are suffering”, he added. We have no time for God or for others. Our greed grows and others become obstacles, so we end up feeling threatened, always dissatisfied and angry, raising the level of hatred….

“We must overcome the temptation that the meaning of life is accumulation”, he said. We must “resist the dazzling lights of consumption, which will shine everywhere this month.” Prayer and charity, he added, are truly “the greatest of treasures.”

Top Catholic Leaders in Hong Kong Back Protesters

via CNS:

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, retired bishop of Hong Kong and a longtime supporter of anti-government protests, and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing have been involved in both the protests and actively supporting protesters. Cardinal John Tong Hon, once retired but serving as acting bishop since January, also has shown support.

In June, up to 2 million Hong Kong citizens marched in street protests, demanding Hong Kong withdraw an Extradition Bill that would have allowed extradition of fugitives to mainland China.

In July, once it was clear the protests would continue well beyond their initial two weekends, Tong and Pastor Su Chengyi, chairman of the Hong Kong Christian Association, issued a joint statement. They listed four requests: that the government withdraw the revised draft of the Extradition Bill with China that triggered the protests; that the government establish an independent investigative committee to find the truth about the clashes between protesters and the government; that all parties exercise restraint and avoid provocation; and that the government dialogue with representatives of different sectors of society to resolve the issues.