Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew to issue joint environmental statement

(Crux) On Friday, Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew will issue a joint message to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

During his general audience on Wednesday, Francis appealed for those with influence to “listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer most because of the unbalanced ecology.”

The day of prayer was instituted by the Orthodox Church in 1989 by Bartholomew’s predecessor, Patriarch Demetrios I.

In 2015, Bartholomew’s personal envoy, Metropolitan John Zizioulas, was one of the speakers at the presentation of Laudato si’, Francis’ landmark encyclical on environmental ecology. In the document, Francis praised the ecumenical patriarch’s work for the environment.

Zizioulas suggested that all the Christian churches start marking the day together, as an ecumenical gesture. [More]