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Celebrate creation through the arts and climate-change prayers, says Pope Francis

11 August 2017

ZUMA/PA

Everyday reality: Bangladeshi schoolchildren walk in a flooded street, on their way home from school in Demra, Dhaka, on Tuesday

Everyday reality: Bangladeshi schoolchildren walk in a flooded street, on their way home from school in Demra, Dhaka, on Tuesday

POPE FRANCIS is this month to dedicate his prayers to tackling climate change by encouraging the Church to celebrate the beauty of creation through the arts, particularly music and literature.

In a video for his Worldwide Prayer Network (WPN), he says: “The arts give expression to the beauty of the faith and proclaim the gospel message of the grandeur of God’s creation. When we admire a work of art or a marvel of nature, we discover how everything speaks to us of Him and of His love.”

Christian campaigners have welcomed the support. Joe Ware of Christian Aid said: “Sadly, issues such as climate change and environmental damage have been kept within the spheres of science and politics. That is understandable, and those areas have their own importance, but the arts — where many people express their deepest fears and greatest hopes — should be where issues as important as the future of our shared home are examined.”

A spokeswoman for the Christian climate-change charity Operation Noah agreed. “Concerns are increasing both about the impact of climate change worldwide and the slow pace of international action to curb emissions of damaging greenhouse gases,” she said. “Artists have an opportunity to remind us that the natural world demonstrates the goodness and love of our Creator God. They can also speak prophetically to challenge us.”

The WPN and the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) have launched a campaign to encourage Christians to put the Pope’s words into action. Using the hashtag #BeautyOfCreation, participants are invited to become “artists” by taking photos or videos of places in nature.

The executive director of the GCCM, Tomás Insua, said: “Pope Francis has shown once again that care for creation is not an optional aspect of our Catholic identity. It is an essential way of demonstrating our love for those sisters and brothers who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.”

For details, visit http://catholicclimatemovement.global/beauty-of-creation.

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