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Flags fly inside the dome at the COP28 summit in Dubai on November 30 (CNS/UN Climate Change COP28, Christophe Viseux)

The future of humanity depends on what people choose now, Pope Francis said in his message to global leaders at the COP28 World Climate Action Summit in Dubai. Source: CNS.

“Are we working for a culture of life or a culture of death?” he asked in his message. “To all of you I make this heartfelt appeal: Let us choose life! Let us choose the future!

“The purpose of power is to serve. It is useless to cling to an authority that will one day be remembered for its inability to take action when it was urgent and necessary to do so. History will be grateful to you,” the Pope wrote.

Excerpts from Pope Francis’ written message were read on Saturday by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, during a meeting with heads of state and government at the conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Pope Francis was to have been the first pope to attend the UN climate conference but cancelled his December 1-3 trip last week after contracting a serious bronchial infection.

Cardinal Parolin read only excerpts at the summit to respect the three-minute limit on national statements. The text was submitted in full to the conference.

The destruction of the environment is “a sin” that not only “greatly endangers all human beings, especially the most vulnerable”, the Pope wrote, but it also “threatens to unleash a conflict between generations.”

“The drive to produce and possess has become an obsession, resulting in an inordinate greed that has made the environment the object of unbridled exploitation,” the Pope wrote. People must recognise their limits, with humility and courage, and seek authentic fulfilment. 

“What stands in the way of this? The divisions that presently exist among us,” he wrote.


Pope calls world leaders to end divisions to fight climate change  (By Carol Glatz, CNS via USCCB)