The Hope Within Us: A Report on Climate Change
The Roman Catholic‒United Church of Canada Dialogue has released a report on climate change entitled The Hope within Us. Since October 2012, the Roman Catholic‒United Church of Canada Dialogue has met eight times to explore our churches’ responses to the ecological crisis, with particular attention to climate change. The report explores the spiritual resources of our common tradition for addressing climate change and working for ecological justice. While not turning away from the real dangers of the ecological crises, the dialogue provides a vision of hope, based on our common Christian faith, that a new relationship between humanity and creation is possible. The report writes:
“So we hold to two poles of a single paradoxical truth. First, Christians have a responsibility to act faithfully even when we see our actions as small and insignificant. Second, our ground for hope is not in ourselves, but in that which comes when we lose hope in our own powers and put our hope in the One through whom all things were made and in whom all things will find their fulfillment. It is a hope that knows resurrection lies beyond death and the tomb. We experience hope not as a secure possession or achievement but as a mysterious gift that we receive more fully as we act upon it.”
In addition, the report addresses fundamental questions such as: What is our theology of creation, of Earth and our place in it, and of the environment and its future? What, in light of our present situation, are the key issues for the churches, today and tomorrow? What, in particular, should our two churches do together and with others? The dialogue marked the areas of consensus found on these important questions, but also noted areas where different emphasis lay, or where further dialogue and understanding are needed. Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home and The United Church of Canada’s faith statement A Song of Faith provided a rich resource for the dialogue and are reflected throughout the report.
The Hope within Us report also includes Earth Hour Vigil, an ecumenical prayer service prepared by the dialogue and offered to our churches, ecumenical partners, and wider networks to promote Earth Hour as a celebration and commitment to compassionate action for creation’s well-being.
The Roman Catholic‒United Church of Canada Dialogue is sponsored by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and The United Church of Canada.