“Time is running out,” Pope Francis warned the delegates attending the recent climate-change summit in Glasgow, COP26. Listening to this stark, necessary and realistic warning one could be forgiven for telling the next generation to “abandon hope”, all ye who are born on this planet. At a seminar of Catholics at COP26, Durham theology professor Carmody Grey said that “the Church must sing a song of hope at this time”. What does this “song of hope” sound like? Perhaps it begins by believing that a different world, a different society, a different working life, is possible, not just in the next life, but in this one. This is articulated strongly in Fratelli tutti, Pope Francis’ vision of the post-pandemic world, in which people and nations look out for each other and speak up for those most in need. In the New Testament, we are told to speak and act “while there is still time”, and that time, the time and the place to act on our hope, is now.
Natalie K. Watson