Climate activists disrupt Mass in Turin

Extinction Rebellion

Climate activists from Extinction Rebellion disrupted a Mass in Italy over the weekend, interrupting the ceremony at the Turin Cathedral.

Demonstrators, citing Pope Francis’ environmental writings, took the floor during the service led by Archbishop Roberto Repole.

Extinction Rebellion characterises itself as a nonpartisan movement. The group employs nonviolent methods to push for government action on climate and ecological emergencies.

According to reports from the Italian newspaper La Republicca, activists rose during the moments preceding the homily. They read excerpts from Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ and his apostolic exhortation Laudate Deum.

Both documents underscore humanity’s role as custodians of the environment amidst the challenge of climate change.

Video footage shows the protesters reading from the pontiff’s works while Archbishop Repole looked on. Other clergy members appeared to worshippers to allow the protestors to speak.

Quoting from Laudato Si’, the activists echoed Francis’ call for an inclusive conversation acknowledging the widespread impact of the environmental crisis.

Pope’s stance on climate change

A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion told CNA that the organisation “[does] not have a headquarters nor do we have a central decision-making body.

“As groups do not have to seek ‘permission’ to stage protests, very often we do not know what actions are taken globally” the spokesperson said.

In a statement on their website, the Italian chapter of Extinction Rebellion justified the disruption as a means to draw attention to the Pope’s stance on the climate crisis. It asserted they aimed to prompt reflection among the faithful.

Archbishop Repole appreciated those advocating for environmental protection but regretted the lack of prior communication.

“I would have replied that at Mass we often pray for peace and for the preservation of creation. But the Eucharistic celebration is not a suitable time to host public interventions” he said.



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