Change and forthright leadership on climate change ‘urgently required’ – Bishop Martin Hayes

13 Sep 2021

  • Jane Mellett, Laudato Si officer with Trócaire, to present webinar on petition for climate change

The Justice and Peace regional groups of the Council for Justice and Peace – a council of the Irish Bishops’ Conference – will hold a short webinar this Wednesday 15 September at 7.30pm on the topic of ‘Healthy Planet and Healthy People – the Catholic Petition’.

Welcoming this initiative, Bishop Martin Hayes, a member of the ‘Laudato Si Working Group’, encouraged people to join the webinar and, moreover, to sign the petition. Bishop Hayes said “During this Season of Creation, as we prayerfully reflect on God’s gift of our common home, it is vitally important that we use every opportunity to put before our political leaders their solemn duty to tackle, in a serious way, the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis that confronts us.  

“Pope Francis’ attendance at the COP26 in Glasgow, in November, is a powerful expression of the Catholic Church’s commitment to saving our planet at this crucial time.  The joint message issued by the Holy Father, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch in recent days, points again to our responsibility, regardless of faith or worldview, to listen to the cry of the earth and of the poor who are suffering and at risk because of climate change.  This petition is an important statement from Catholics and others that change and forthright leadership on this question is urgently required.”

Bishop Hayes concluded, “The petition is noted by the Vatican as the key advocacy action for Catholics during this Season of Creation.  Let us all play our part; in the words of Pope Francis, ‘for we know that things can change …’ (Laudato Si, 13).”


Notes for editors

  • Bishop Martin Hayes is Bishop of Kilmore and a member of the Council for Justice and Peace.  The role of the Council is to support the Bishops’ Conference in promoting the social teaching of the Church and to advise on issues of social concern, both nationally and internationally.
  • ‘The Healthy Planet and Healthy People Petition’ is an initiative of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development.  It is aimed at the forthcoming UN Conferences on Climate Change (COP26) and Biodiversity (COP15).  
  • Many organisations are being asked to partner with this petition worldwide in order to promote it.  In Ireland, Trócaire, AMRI and many religious congregations have partnered with the petition and it is already promoted extensively in the new pastoral letter from the Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin, The Cry of the Earth – The Cry of the Poor.
  • Below is the Zoom link for the webinar which will be delivered by Jane Mellett, Laudato Si officer with Trócaire and coordinator of the Laudato Si Working Group of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

Topic: Justice and Peace Networks
Time: Sep 15, 2021 07:30 PM Dublin

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 986 7113 8028
Passcode: 648567

The petition asks:

Addressed to the Presidents of COP15 (China) and COP26 (Glasgow) this petition demands that world leaders:

  • Tackle the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis together
  • Limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and promise no more biodiversity loss
  • Ensure equitable global action, including support for those most affected
  • Protect and respect human rights, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities in climate and biodiversity action

Full text of the petition is available at  

The Laudato Si’ Movement (LSM) are inviting member organisations to become Petition Partners. This involves:

  • Signing the petition on the website under ‘organisation’ and uploading your logo. (Scroll down to bottom of petition page).
  • A commitment to support the petition communications campaign.
  • Post about the petition regularly on social media until the end of the campaign. The initial social media pack for this month is ready HERE. And will be updated each month.
  • Share a press release about the petition
  • Connect LSM with the digital communications person within your organisation 
  • Joining with other petition promoters in your country for a joint handover of signatures nationally (in Ireland: Trocaire, AMRI et al).

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678