German Church publishes first report on climate protection

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The Catholic Church should play a leading role in protecting the environment and combating climate change, said the bishop who is the commissioner for environmental and climate issues at the German bishops’ conference.

“We take seriously our responsibility to creation. As a Catholic Church, we should not sit in the back of the train but rather be in the front as much as possible,” Bishop Rolf Lohmann said during a presentation on 25 October in Bonn of the First Report of the German Catholic Church on Climate and Environmental Protection.

Bishop Lohmann said the report describes progress in environmental protection as well as the difficulties faced by individual parishes and other religious entities in responding to climate change, the German Catholic News Agency reported. KNA.

The 125-page study summarizes current climate protection measures taken by individual dioceses, religious organizations and aid agencies. The priorities cited include environmentally friendly building management, mobility and the sustainable economy.

In initial reactions, an official from government and aid agencies praised the report. German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze called the report an important socio-political signal.

“Catholic dioceses, religious orders, associations and lay organizations are actors that ensure greater sustainability at the local level with concepts of climate protection,” she said.

The prerequisite for a credible presence is that you also adhere to the standards that you advocate.

Bishop Heiner Wilmer of Hildesheim, Germany, who is responsible for social affairs for the bishops’ conference, said political, business and social leaders expect the church to be involved in solving the most pressing issues. most urgent of the time.

Pope Francis, he explained, called on the world and religious leaders to act immediately and effectively against climate change.

“The prerequisite for a credible presence is that you also apply yourself to the standards you advocate,” Bishop Wilmer said, adding that the German Catholic Church was now responsible for environmental issues.

Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, Germany, said tackling climate change is the biggest social challenge the world faces and churches need to respond to it. “Time is running out,” he said.

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Father Dirk Bingener, president of Missio, the German Catholic humanitarian relief agency, also praised the document, saying it underscored how the world church and church-related relief agencies were allies in the fight against climate change.

The report showed, he said, “that the destruction of the environment violates the fundamental rights of children and young people in the countries of the South”.

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