Columbans lift up moral voice at COP27 and COP15

As we approach the conclusion of the United Nations’ COP27 on climate change in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, (6th-17th November) and anticipate the start of the UN’s COP15 on biodiversity in Montreal, Canada, (7th-19th December), Columban missionaries have released a message to lift up the voices that we hear every day in different parts of the world that experience the traumatic realities of climate injustice and biodiversity collapse.

“In calling global national leaders to account, we must also recognise and lament for the ways in which our lifestyles and institutional policies as Columbans fail to contribute to the well-being of the planet,” said Fr. Tim Mulroy, Superior General for the Missionary Society of St. Columban. “We remain committed, however imperfect, to our on-going personal and communal ecological conversion,” he added.

The Society’s message highlights heatwaves and flooding in Pakistan and extrajudicial killing and red-tagging of community leaders in the Philippines, among other stories.

There can be no Biodiversity if there is no relationship,” said Tevita Naikasowalu, the Columban Coordinator for Justice, Peace, and Ecology in Fiji and an indigenous Fijian. He added: “There can be no trees without the land, no fish without the ocean because there has to be a relationship that connects this Web of Life. We cannot be without the other and what is good for them is also good for us and if harm is done to them, it is also done to us.”

As part of an interfaith delegation, Columbans will be going to Montreal to bring the spiritual messages of hope, respect, justice, and peace to COP15.

Fr. Liam runs an environmental workshop
Columban Fr. Liam O'Callaghan running an environmental workshop in Pakistan