Pope Francis visited the UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon and spoke with him for about half an hour, from 9.15am to 9.45am. Father Ciro Benedettini, the vice-director of the Vatican newsroom, announced it. The Pope immediately returned to Santa Marta. The UN Secretary was in Rome because he was invited by the Pontifical Academy of Science to take part in the seminar “Protecting Earth, Ennobling Humanity: Moral Dimensions of Climate Changes and Sustainable Development”. The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, should attend the seminar too, and the Pope should receive him too. The seminar is in Pio IV in the Vatican Gardens, and the Pontifical Academy of Science organized it in collaboration with Religions for Peace and UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The movement of the Focolari should attend the seminar too.
At 10.30 am, Mons. Marcelo Sanchez Sondoro, from Argentina, is having a speech for the beginning speech of ban Ki-Moon, Card. Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, is the next to speak. From 11 am the economist Jeffrey Sachs and the President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Science, Margaret Archer are having their speeches. Ecology is one of the main interests of Pope Francis who just finished writing his encyclical about custody of the creation, to be released before summer.
“His Holiness, I write to you with great respect in the name of Greenpeace to express our most sincere gratitude for the initiatives aiming to defend global climate, as you already announced with the forthcoming encyclical. We do appreciate your leadership and the Conference that is happening in the Vatican about climate changes. The effect of climate change hit millions of people, the poorest above all, meaning the most fragile and less responsible for global warming”. This is the beginning of the letter sent by Greenpeace to Pope Francis in order to ask him to take on against global warming.
After he expressed his sadness for people dying every day at sea, or at war, the Executive Director of Greenpeace Italia, Giuseppe Onufrio, highlighted these desperate situations underlining how they are made even worse by ongoing climate change. He concluded his letter asking the Pope to “launch a plea to every government and leader of enterprises so that they put some effort against global warming, and in taking energy entirely from renewable resources and to make it disposable to everyone on this planet”.
Translation provided by Mary Ann D’Costa