The Vatican, aerial view

The Vatican urges Catholics to drop investments in fossil fuels and arms

The Vatican, the global head of the Catholic Church, is urging the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to divest from fossil fuels and arms dealers and “shun companies that are harmful to human or social ecology.”

The Church’s calls-to-action were captured in a 200+ page compendium of practical steps church leaders and workers can take to protect nature, life, and the world’s most at-risk peoples. Titled “On the Journey for Care of the Common Home” — the treatise serves as a guide to implement the Pope’s 2015 encyclical Laudato Si, which called on the Catholic Church to view protecting the Earth as a fundamental aspect of the faith.

The Vatican itself says it does not invest in any fossil fuels. Last month, more than 20 Catholic faith organizations announced they themselves had divested.

I’ll be honest, I hold a lot of anger at the Catholic Church. I went to a Catholic school when I was young. For too long, in my judgment, the Church has controlled and manipulated people through shame. They’ve passed down certain rules as the will of God, only to amend them a few years later. They’ve taught us to hate our bodies and think of sex as vile and dirty. They’ve gotten some of the clearest moral issues dead wrong, child abuse and molestation in particular.

But I also know that some of the most dedicated and impactful change agents I’ve met have been Catholic and get much of their passion and determination for change from their faith.

It is heartening to see that same passion and dedication for change echoed by the highest authorities of their faith.

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