Religious and social justice groups are promising to make environmental justice initiatives the focus of a month-long celebration of creation following a plea by Pope Francis to better protect the environment, respect Indigenous communities around the globe and listen to the concerns of young people.
The message by Pope Francis is being taken to heart by groups such as Citizens For Public Justice (CPJ), an Ottawa-based religious social justice organization, which in an August 2020 brief to the House of Commons standing committee on finance pre-budget consultations said “the COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened our collective focus.”
“Priorities have become clearer and there is a call for change. The climate emergency — the focus of the 2019 pre-budget consultation — has not gone away. Poverty and inequality have been aggravated. At the same time, long-standing systemic racism and social exclusion have also been brought to light,” according to CPJ. “These are not new issues, but curiously, the crisis spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic may have created a fresh opportunity to take a deeper look at how we respond.”