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CURRENT ISSUE:  December 15, 2008
VOL. 46, NO. 21   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
Parishes offer support to those losing jobs
Local pastors go to D.C. in effort to halt growing number of foreclosures
Catholic officials launch
campaign for climate change

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) — Catholic Church officials from 38 countries have launched a campaign with more than 170 Catholic organizations to persuade the United Nations to meet the “moral obligation” of tackling climate change.

“Climate change is a reality today affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions in developing countries by exacerbating storms, droughts and natural disasters,” said an appeal signed by 92 bishops, archbishops and cardinals.

“As a matter of equity and responsibility, those who have created the problem must pay for the solution. Economically developed nations have a moral obligation to tackle climate change because of their disproportionate consumption of natural resources,” it said.

The climate campaign and related appeal were launched by Caritas Internationalis, which represents 162 national Caritas church charities, and CIDSE, a Belgian-based alliance of 16 Catholic development agencies. The campaign was introduced Dec. 7 at the cathedral in Poznan, Poland, at a Mass concelebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Grzegorz Balcerek of Poznan and Auxiliary Bishop Theotonius Gomes of Dhaka, president of Caritas Bangladesh.

Government representatives from around the world were meeting in Poznan Dec. 1-12 for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The religious leaders’ appeal, titled “A Call for Climate Justice,” said poor communities were affected the worst by climate change, but had “done (the) least to cause it.” It pledged Catholics worldwide would “stand in profound solidarity” with those suffering harsh effects.

“We are deeply concerned by the disproportionate impact human-induced climate change is having on poor and vulnerable people living in developing countries,” it said.

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