Cardinal supports students’ climate change protest – “Listen to them”

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In New Zealand this Friday, young people are taking part in the worldwide college student protest about the slow pace of international action on climate change.

The Catholic Archbishop of Wellington, Cardinal John Dew, is supporting their efforts.

“We all need to listen to young people about climate change,” he said.

Dew acknowledged that opinions will differ about whether students should be taking time off school.

However, he thinks that engaging with one of the most pressing and urgent moral issues of our time is far more important than leaving school to cheer for a sports team or visiting celebrity.

The cardinal asked people not to focus on what they are doing, but rather on why they are doing it.

He said young people should have had opportunities for their opinions to be heard without being forced to take this action, which may have consequences for their studies.

“Despite being the group in our society who will be most affected by environmental decisions being made today, young people are telling us, as strongly and loudly as they can, that they don’t feel that they have a voice in the conversation.”

He said many decision-makers in the governments, businesses, community organisations and churches of the world won’t be alive to experience the impact of climate change. But today’s school students will be.

“They will have to live with the consequences if we over-consume the world’s resources now, and if we do not find ways to keep temperature increases in check.

“The world was made by God for all to enjoy, to sustain life. That includes today’s young people and future generations,” Dew said.

“In justice, my generation should be handing on to the next generation what was given to us. We need to face the reality that we are not.

“Instead, we are leaving a legacy of pollution and wastefulness.”

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News category: New Zealand.

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