Ahead of COP26 Glasgow, Seán McDonagh: The Church and Climate Change

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021.

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Columban missionary, Fr. Seán McDonagh speaks about the urgent for all to act now if we are to save the Planet for future generations. Leading up to COP 26, Sean McDonagh argues that the churches have a moral responsibility to care for the Earth and work towards protecting our Planet from further disaster due to Climate Change.

Link to presentation:




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  1. Sean O'Conaill says:

    Great summary of the background to Cop26, and the church’s slow grasp of the issues before Francis.

    How to mobilise Irish parishes, however, when so far the patchiness of even parish pastoral councils is due to the ‘clerical option for nowt’ that canon law encourages?

    I have asked here several times re the level of likely uptake of solar panels on church roofs to reduce heating and lighting bills – and drawn a blank. What of homilies re acceptance of higher taxation, reduction of meat and dairy consumption and the national herd – especially in rural areas. And repentance for ‘consumerism’?

    Roast potatoes all?

    Both the Eucharist and the Lord’s prayer seem to argue for a turn to a plant based diet, as well as a radical simplicity of lifestyle. It is the ‘trespassing’ of the developed world’s heavier carbon footprint that now fuels the demand for climate justice from the most imperilled, while the whole globe’s endless bickerings must be torture for younger idealists who understand what is at stake.

    Will it take even more disruptive ‘unusual weather events’ to focus minds sufficiently? Sean McDonagh will be hoping we will all snap to it right away.

  2. Sean O'Conaill says:

    Ahead of COP26 Glasgow, Seán McDonagh: The Church and Climate Change…


    The spread of climate depression, especially among young people, globally – and soon there will be an appeal to all to cut consumption.

    So what explains wanting what we don’t need? Mainly covetousness – desire acquired from envied peers – our ‘neighbour’ – unconsciously – ‘mimetic desire’.

    It was known to Tertullian as ’emulation’ – and is also the root of the competitive acquisition of the super-rich. It became the lost sin of Christendom and is still not seen by too many moral theologians and homilists. Until it is seen, and acted upon, capitalism will continue to destroy the environment.

    From May 2013: ‘Materialism’ isn’t the Problem.


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