VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) –– The Vatican’s official newspaper hosted a call for Catholics to fast from using fossil fuels during Lent, an action it describes as being in solidarity with those enduring “cold in Ukraine.”
In the February 20 edition, L’Osservatore Romano noted how Catholics are being called to use Lent as “a time for reflections and concrete actions such as ‘fasting from gas.’” Additional measures to take included “limiting the use of heaters,” which the newspaper stated would act “not only as a sign of solidarity with Ukrainians and other afflicted peoples, but also to defund the war economy.”
The Vatican’s daily newspaper made the suggestion in an article – which was met with widespread outrage on Twitter – entitled “Lent: a time to divest from fossils,” that interviewed Cecilia Dall’Oglio, who serves as the associate director of European Programs of the Laudato Si’ Movement.
#20febbraio In #Quaresima i cattolici sono chiamati a osservare il digiuno del gas per non alimentare la guerra e contro il consumo dei combustibili fossili.
👉 https://t.co/NN5CWtWBLK pic.twitter.com/bcUzC6G1ox
— L’Osservatore Romano (@oss_romano) February 20, 2023
The Laudato Si Movement is a group born out of Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical of the same name. In December, the group had issued a call to “divest from fossil fuels, as a witness of proximity to our brothers and sisters who are resisting in shelters, under bombardment, at the front lines, without electricity in the cold in Ukraine.”
It aims to “turn Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato Si into action for climate and ecological justice,” the mass divestment from “fossil fuels” is inspired by the pontiff’s environmental writings. This “divestment” is to limit the “catastrophic impacts that could lead to the displacement of hundreds of millions of people” should the earth’s temperature rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius, a level that climate change activists argue could lead to a global crisis.
According to the movement, the Ukraine war has highlighted not only the need to end “bloody conflicts” but also the need to end “environmental devastation.”
Speaking to L’Osservatore Romano, Dall’Oglio praised the numbers of Catholic dioceses and organizations around the world who have divested themselves from fossil fuels. “At present, more than 350 Catholic institutions have made the commitment, totaling an estimated $10 billion to $20 billion in lost investment in the fossil fuel industry,” she said.
This was not enough, though, as Dall’Oglio called for more action to be taken: “We still have a long way to go on this journey to engage more communities, institutions and people of goodwill.”
She highlighted the war in Ukraine as a particular area that presented cause for ecological concern and motivation to divest from fossil fuels. “When we turn on gas we are funding a war economy, and we don’t want that anymore,” Dall’Oglio said. “‘Fasting from gas’ is Italy’s way of joining the Global Week of Action during Lent: a time of awareness about ‘ecological sins’ and our responsibilities.”
Dall’Oglio called on families to turn off their heating and to thus find the “‘right temperature’ in the home.”
“We need to make congregations and dioceses understand the importance of ethical investments for environmental sustainability, that every penny invested in fossil fuel companies affects people and all of creation,” she added.
Peculiarly, Dall’Oglio highlighted finance as an area lacking in its commitment to “green” policies, saying “finance experts within the Church should share their knowledge, open their hearts to the questions of their community, to the ‘cry of the Earth’ and the ‘cry of the Poor.’”
However, the world of finance is one of the sectors that is most devoted to implementing “climate change” policies, such as those outlined by the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The almost unknown Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) was born at the Paris “One Planet Summit” in December 2017, and is composed of “Central Banks and supervisors” with the purpose of transforming the global economy in alignment with green, sustainable policies. Already, it numbers 121 members, with an additional 19 observer organizations, including national and international banks such as “Bank of Canada; Bank of England; Banque de France; Dubai Financial Services Authority; European Central Bank; Japan FSA; People’s Bank of China; Swiss National Bank; U.S. Federal Reserve.”
Indeed, a lesser-known third aim of the Paris Agreement pertains directly to the financial element of the document, ensuring that the future of global finance is directly connected to the various climate change efforts laid out in the Paris agreement. It reads:
Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.
This aim provides the basis for the NGFS’s policies, as well as those by international governments that link provision of finance to the implementation of the green agenda of the Paris Agreement.
Pro-life and family advocates have continually expressed concern over the climate activism movement, as it is often aligned with pro-abortion and population control advocates and lobby groups. Others say much of climate activism is about garnering government grants and exerting statist power.
As already noted on numerous occasions by LifeSiteNews, the Paris Agreement is indeed pro-abortion and connects to the stated U.N. goal of creating a universal right to abortion in line with Goal #5.6 of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Yet only last year, the Vatican’s support for the Paris Agreement changed from passive to active, when it officially joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Climate Agreement.
In a conference to mark the official start of the Vatican’s membership, Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin stated that “[t]he so-called socio-ecological crisis is a propitious moment for our conversion and for decisions that can no longer be postponed.”