THE TABLET: Humankind can still preserve a habitable planet

Last Saturday, many of you joined us for a memorable day of panel discussions that left us in a state of precarious hopefulness a week before world leaders gather in Glasgow for a summit that Gordon Brown, the former British prime minister, told us was “the world’s best hope against the upcoming climate catastrophe”. Christine Allen of Cafod warned us that “we are way off track” where we need to be. Sarah MacDonald reports on a day of sometimes exhilarating discussions. And here.

Brown quoted Pope Francis, who has said, “We have not only dared to dream we could create a better world, but as men and women of faith, we are bringing that new world into being.” As we say in our leader this week, humankind can still preserve a habitable planet. But the price demanded is a moral quantum leap from narrow self-interest to global solidarity. Climate change presents a unique moral challenge to the entire human race.

Pope Francis, President Joe Biden and John F. Kennedy.

Online today, Christopher Lamb reports that finding common ground to help save the planet is likely to be high on the agenda tomorrow when the Pope meets US President Joe Biden, the first Catholic elected to that office since John F Kennedy. “Although he is not travelling to Glasgow for COP26, Pope Francis is pulling all the diplomatic levers available to influence the summit.”

In the news pages of the magazine this week, Madoc Cairns describes how the Catholic bishops of Scotland have announced their divestment from fossil fuels, alongside 72 other faith organisations;

Ellen Teague, who will be reporting on the conference for us, is keeping track of the many pilgrims and climate activists who are starting to arrive in Scotland.

The former Benedictine schoolboy, soldier and investment banker Peter Kisielewski will be among those in Glasgow: in the magazine he tells Peter Stanford about the clean technologies he will be demonstrating to delegates.

There are seven pages of news stories from our correspondents in Britain, Ireland and across the world in the magazine as usual, and updates and new stories are added to our website several times a day. Madoc Cairns reports that many Indigenous leaders have welcomed the Pope’s declaration of intent to  visit Canada on “a pilgrimage of healing and reconciliation”, but have warned much more would be necessary to make moral and practical reparation for the role the Church played in the running of residential schools.

In View from Rome, Christopher Lamb looks at the method behind Pope Francis’ choice of new cardinals, and speculates on who might be being measured up for a red hat at the next consistory. Christa Pongratz-Lippitt writes that Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, has suggested the Orthodox Church, with its rich experience of synodality, has much to offer the synodal process set in motion by Pope Francis, and Christa also reports that in a letter of condolence following the death of one of his closest friends, 94-year-old emeritus Pope Benedict XVI says he looks forward to joining his friends in Heaven soon.

Brendan Walsh

In this weeks Tablet.

The plot that never was

If we strip out evidence from torture and the government’s contradictory accounts, there is effectively no Gunpowder Plot by Penelope Middelboe and Jon Rosebank

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