Pope Francis: A Pope to speak for sustainability


The new Pope’s works in social justice and his commitment to the poor anticipates a leader who will work for the ‘radical ecological conversion set by his predecessors’, says the Director of Catholic Earthcare Australia, Jacqui Rémond.

Ms Rémond is heartened that The Pope has dedicated his papacy to Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology, at a time when the natural environment is in crisis.

“We anticipate the papacy of Pope Francis will see the furthering of a global movement to make the Church at one with the natural environment, built on principles of sustainability and conservation in the generous spirit and action that characterised Saint Francis’ work with God’s lowliest people and outcastes,” says Ms Remond.

“Like John Paul II and Benedict VXI before him, Pope Francis grasps that the hour is at hand to lead by example and bring the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics along on this epic journey of restoring creation and rediscovering our place on Earth, even as climate change through human activity is tipping the balance,” says Ms Rémond.

“We welcome his call for all those in positions of responsibility and ‘all men and women of goodwill’ to serve as ‘protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.’”

Catholic Earthcare Australia, established in 2002, is the Australian Church’s response to Pope John Paul II’s call for a “radical ecological conversion”. Its educational program with schools, parishes, congregations and church agencies is named ‘ASSISI’ (A Strategic Systems-based Integrated Sustainability Initiative). Education at all levels is the basis of its ministry.

“ASSISI is a comprehensive and holistic sustainability initiative for organisations to achieve ecological sustainability,” says Ms Remond. “Our ministry is driven by the gospel message to protect the earth and bring God’s people to the fullness of life. We consult with communities and train leaders so they may educate others in ecological sustainability. By his name and by his example, we look to the Pope to bless and foster all of our endeavours into the future.”


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