In his pastoral letter, the archbishop urged parishes in the Dublin archdiocese to sign the “Healthy Planet-Healthy People” petition, endorsed by the Holy See.
The petition, directed at the U.N. Climate Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, calls for an agreement limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit).
Farrell also invited Catholics to become involved with the Laudato Sì Prize, an archdiocesan initiative inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical.
“This prize of €5,000 [around $5,900] will be awarded for the new initiative that makes the greatest practical difference to our response to the climate crisis and to our embrace of the way of justice,” the archbishop explained.
The pastoral letter will be distributed by the Dublin-based publisher Veritas online and via its bookshops in Ireland. It is also available on the Dublin archdiocese’s website.
In his Aug. 30 statement, Farrell acknowledged that his pastoral letter was a “long document.” But he argued that the climate crisis was so grave that it demanded “extensive” reflection.
“All too often ‘religion’ appears as if it is no more than an intellectual failure of nerve. However, true religion is not a flight from the world: faith that is alive provides a framework for people to make decisions and take action,” he said.
“As a Church, and as a society, we need to reflect with greater depth, urgency, and seriousness about what we must do. This extensive pastoral is in the service of that deeper reflection.”
“If not for your own sake, then for the sake of your children, and for the world’s children, consider dedicating some time to the issues raised in its pages.”