Global Christians pray and prod for action at Paris COP21 climate conference

(Photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler / LWF)Christian activists attend an interfaith celebration in the Basilica of Saint Denis prior to the start of the COP21 climate summit in Paris, France, November 28, 2015.

Pope Francis has prayed for the success of the climate conference underway in Paris while in the French capital hundreds from many nations and confessions joined in a service for God's Creation at Notre Dame cathedral.

Negotiators paving the way for the global climate change agreement at COP21 in Paris on Dec. 6 said they had cleared a major hurdle, producing a draft accord in record time.

They raised hopes that a full week of minister-led talks can now clinch a deal despite many sticking points, The Guardian reported with global church leaders pressing for the dire need for an for a plan to stem climate change..

In Rome on Dec. 6, the Pope said, that as he follows the work of the conference closely, he was reminded of a question he asked in his recent encyclical Laudato Si:

"What kind of world do we want to pass on to those who come after us, to the children who are growing up?"

Francis then urged that, "for the sake of the common home we share and for future generations, every effort should be made, in Paris to mitigate the impact of climate change and, at the same time, to tackle poverty and to let human dignity flourish.

The Pope was speaking following the recitation of the Angelus in St Peter's Square, where he also recalled the 50th anniversary of a memorable event between Catholics and Orthodox.

It was the signing of a Joint Declaration between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, which took place on the eve of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, on December 7, 1965.

He noted that it was providential that this historic gesture of reconciliation, which has created the conditions for a new dialogue between Orthodox and Catholics in love and truth, should be remembered at the very beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy.

In Notre Dame the current Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I said Dec. 3, "It is our moral obligation to engage actively in favor of environmental protection."

In a message read to the congregation at the service on Dec. 3 he said, "It is not too late to act, but we cannot allow ourselves to put off until tomorrow what we can do today."

The ecumenical service opened with a procession of lay people, young and old, and of clergy and church leaders from France and beyond, garbed in white, black, red and purple robes.

They included Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, the archbishop of Paris, WCC general secretary the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, Archbishop Antje Jackelen, primate of the Church of Sweden, who read the lesson, and Brother Alois, prior of the Taizé Community.

Welcoming the congregation to the cathedral, Cardinal Vingt-Trois underlined the need for Christians "to assume our share of responsibility for the life of our common home."

(Photo: © Sean Hawkey / WCC)COP21 Ecumenical Service attended by Christian leaders from many different tradtions in Notre Dame cathedral on Dec. 3, 2015.
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