NEW REFORMATION PROTEST

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On Monday 4th December, 12 noon, Pope Francis and Martin Luther visited the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to call for a radical reformation of the economy, to protect human-kind and abundant life on earth.

IMG_7794.JPGIt is the third year in a row that CCA has visited the department responsible for climate change to remind our government of their commitments under the Paris Agreement.

We visited BEIS because we disagree with the premise of the department, that climate instability should be solved as part of a strategy for economic growth.  We don’t think that the threat to the viability of life on earth should be dealt with within an immovable economic ideology, but should be the number one priority, choosing the economic system that is fair and just and gives us the best chance of survival. As Pope Francis has said, ‘money should serve, not rule.’

IMG_7806While we welcome some elements of the recent, hugely delayed, Clean Growth Strategy, it just isn’t enough to meet the Climate Act targets, let alone the Paris targets that are required to give ‘future generations a fighting chance.’  

It seems to us that the short-term health of the economy is being prioritised above the health of the planet.  The state of the earth is desperate. We have all the information, science and technology to lead the world away from the cliff-edge of climate instability towards a sustainable future for God’s creation and coming generations. Whether we have the time is debatable. We must act now.

IMG_7838.JPGAt noon on December 4th, Pope Francis and Martin Luther witnessed to the truth that BEIS is currently failing in its job of protecting the climate and called for a radical reformation of the economy.  There was also a vigil to pray for the department and for our country, and all of us, to do what is required to protect God’s earth.

IMG_7889.JPG The litany for the earth was said while Martin Newell (50) and Phil Kingston (81) wrote ‘Radical Reformation of the Economy now’ and ‘Stop Climate Chaos’ in red paint on the department’s plaque.

Martin and Phil chatted and prayed until the police came, but the department decided not to press charges at this time.

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This is the letter that we handed in to the department.

The drama script that was performed is here.

We handed out this leaflet to passers-by.

Here is the press release.

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PRESS RELEASE: ‘Pope Francis’ and ‘Martin Luther’ Call for a Radical Reformation of the Economy to Tackle Climate Change

5th December 2017

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A direct action protest was held yesterday outside the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Members of Christian Climate Action held a vigil, performed street theatre and used red spray paint to call for a radical reformation of the economy to protect humankind and abundant life on earth from climate change.

spray-painting

To celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the second anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, ‘Pope Francis’ and ‘Martin Luther’ visited BEIS to remind our government of their commitments to tackle climate change under the Paris Agreement and the Climate Change Act. A litany for the earth was said while the Catholic priest Martin Newell (50) and Phil Kingston (81), dressed as Pope Francis and Martin Luther, wrote ‘Radical Reformation of the Economy now’ and ‘Stop Climate Chaos’ in red paint on the department’s plaque.

The police were called, but the department decided not to press charges at this time.

Caroline Harmon, a member of Christian Climate Action, said:

IMG_7808.JPG‘We disagree with the premise of the department that climate instability can be solved as part of a strategy for economic growth. The short-term health of the economy is being prioritised above the health of the planet. Whilst we welcome some elements of the department’s recently published Clean Growth Strategy, it just isn’t enough to meet our Paris Agreement targets. The state of creation is desperate. We have all the information, science and technology we need to lead the world away from the cliff-edge of climate instability towards a sustainable future. Whether we have the time is debatable. We must act now.’

 

IMG_7793Fr. Martin Newell said:

‘Current government policy, as implemented by this department, is ignoring the major threat and reality of climate change, much as the people of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time ignored his warnings of impending destruction for their city if they did not repent and change their ways.  The changes needed include a move away from the persistent idolatry of never ending economic growth, on the altar of which god climate, people and the life of the planet are being sacrificed.’

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Phil Kingston, who is a grandfather, said,

‘Our action today was an act of penance as well as witness for our complicity in climate change. It was a small thing, but faith can move mountains.’

 

ENDS

 

Contact Ruth Jarman: 07970 907784

 

Notes for Editors:

 

  1. More photos are available here or here.
  2. A letter explaining the reasons for the protest that was delivered to the department on the day and the leaflet that was handed out to passers-by can be found at the bottom of this page.
  3. The Litany for the Earth that was said is here.
  4. The short drama sketch was made up primarily of actual quotes from Pope Francis and Martin Luther.
  5. In Laudate Si, Pope Francis writes, ‘The idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology … is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry at every limit.’
  6. Christian Climate Action is a community of Christians supporting each other in acts of non-violent direct action and public witness, as a way of following Jesus Christ in the face of climate breakdown.
  7. https://christianclimateaction.wordpress.comThe Government’s recent Clean Growth Strategy leaves the UK significantly off track achieving its targets according to Carbon Brief. https://www.carbonbrief.org/in-depth-how-the-clean-growth-strategy-hopes-to-deliver-uk-climate-goals

Sketch: A New Reformation of the Economy

Martin Luther meets Pope Francis in London, on 4th Dec 2017. Almost all of the words used are quotes.

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Pope: In 1517 the church was not a role model. There was corruption, there was worldliness, there was greed, a lust for power. Martin Luther protested against this. And he was an intelligent man.

Money: (with money hat on) We are here to celebrate the power of money to purchase for people access to God.

Luther: Oh no we are not. (Takes money’s hat off and places it on the ground) The only thing bringing us to God is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Money: (takes hat back) In that case we are here, today, 2017, to call economists, financiers, technology experts to celebrate this: unlimited growth is here to stay.

Pope: No: there is not an unlimited supply of the world’s goods. The world is being squeezed dry.

Luther: And God writes the gospel not in the bible alone, but also in the trees, and in the flowers, and clouds and stars.

Money: Enough of that, we are here to celebrate me, the god of extreme profits, so that I may gorge myself on the feast of everything that stands in my way.

Pope: Sadly we might agree. Whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before you, the god of the market. It seems that you are the only rule.

Money: So you admit defeat?

Luther: Defeat? if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. For every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.

Money: Hope? Money crushes hope. What are you going to do?

Luther: When Cardinal Bergoglio became pope, he took the name of St Francis. But this was not just a name, it was a plan.

Pope: Francis, the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation. Francis, the man who changed history. How I would like a church that is poor and is for the poor. What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?

Luther: Parents shouldn’t give up choosing what is best for their children, even when they are ungrateful.

Money: And do you, with all your terrible mistakes, think that anyone will listen?

Luther: No great saint lived without errors.

Pope: I also am a sinner but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our lord Jesus Christ.  And in this day and age, unless Christians are revolutionaries, they are not Christians.

Luther: And though this world with devils filled

Should threaten to undo us

We will not fear for God has willed

His truth to triumph through us.

Pope: We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single family. The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.  This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: changing to a form of development which seeks to respect creation.

Money: So what do you want?

Pope & Luther: A radical reformation of the economy!

Money: What do you want?

All: A radical reformation of the economy to protect the climate!

Pope: The time has come to accept decreased growth in some parts of the world, so that other parts may experience healthy growth.

Money: This is just asking for…

Pope & Luther: A radical reformation of the economy!

Money: You know you can’t have…

All: A radical reformation of the economy!

Pope: I await the surprise of each day. God is always a surprise, so you never know where and how you will meet him.

Pope & Luther: Earth our mother moon our brother

Here I stand I can do no other.

Pope: Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labour is not mere philanthropy, it is a moral obligation. For Christians the responsibility is even greater, it is a commandment

Pope & Luther: Earth our mother, moon our brother.

Here we stand we can do no other.

Luther: If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.

And let us sing as we go, may our struggles and our concern for this planet, never take away the joy of our hope.

Money: But money always rules.

Pope:  (takes hat) No it does not. Men and women will not be sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption. Money has to serve and not rule.

All: Money has to serve and not rule.

Pope & Luther: What do we want?

All: A radical reformation of the economy to protect the climate!

Pope & Luther: What do we want?

All: A radical reformation of the economy to protect the climate!

Litany for the Earth

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LITANY FOR THE EARTH

( based on ‘Litany for the Earth’-Fran Pratt, & ‘Litany of Resistance’ Jim Loney )

Used on 4th December 2017, at the New Reformation of the Economy Vigil.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.
For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas
and built it on the ocean depths.

Who may climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
who do not worship idols
and never tell lies.

They will receive the Lord’s blessing
and have a right relationship with God their savior.
Such people may seek you
and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.
                 – Psalm 24:1-6

God, we lament the destruction that has been done
That we have permitted to be done
By our silence and inaction
And by our direct action
To the Earth – Your creation. *
Forgive us, Oh God.

Even now we realize that our home
Is suffering
Its inhabitants are suffering
From lack of clean water and air
 Lack of life-giving nourishment
 Lack of safe habitat.

Help us to become aware
Of the needs of humanity,
Of the needs of generations to come,
Of the needs of soil and creatures.
We acknowledge that we have a chance:
To choose peace over profit
To choose activity over complacency
To choose a Greater Good over today’s convenience.

Arouse in us a new compassion,
A new willingness to change,
A new excitement to foster community,
A new faith in the abundance of your Kingdom.
A new zeal for establishing the Peace and Justice of God,

A new desire to set the Earth to rights
A new understanding of the connectedness of all things,
A new appreciation of the gift of Earth. Amen

One: Blessed are the poor
All: For theirs is the kingdom of God
One: Blessed are they who mourn now
All: For they will be comforted
One: Blessed are the meek
All: For they will inherit the earth
One: Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice
All: For they will be satisfied
One: Blessed are the merciful
All: For they will be shown mercy
One: Blessed are the pure in heart
All: For they will see God
One: Blessed are the peacemakers
All: For they will be called the daughters and sons of God
One: Blessed are they who are persecuted because of righteousness
All: For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

One: Deliver us, O God
All: Guide our feet to live lightly on your Earth
One: In humility, we ask
All: Guide our feet to live lightly on our Sister Earth
One: In humility, we ask
All: Guide our feet to live lightly on our Mother Earth
One: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
All: Have mercy on us
One: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
All: Free us from the bondage of sin and death
One: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world
All: Hear our prayer. That we may live lightly on your Earth.

One: For our denial of our need for repentance from fossil fuels
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For the scandal of our dependence on fossil fuels
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For the scandal of billions wasted on fossil fuels

All: Forgive us for we know not what we do

One: For our lack of love for your creation
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For the global oil and gas companies
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For the coal mining companies
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do

One: For our scorched and blackened earth

All: Forgive us for we know not what we do

One: For the men and women training to extract and burn fossil fuels
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: For the scientists and researchers finding new ways to extract and use fossil fuels
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do

One: For all the advertisers and all men and women who perpetuate our delusion
All: Forgive us for we know not what we do
One: Deliver us, O God
All: Guide our feet to live lightly on your Earth

One: In humility, we ask
All: Hear our prayer. That we may live lightly on your Earth.

One: From the arrogance of power
All: Deliver us
One: From the poverty of materialism

All: Deliver us
One: From the tyranny of economic growth
All: Deliver us
One: From the ugliness of extractivism
All: Deliver us
One: From the politics of hypocrisy
All: Deliver us
One: From the hysteria of nationalism
All: Deliver us
One: From the cancer of addiction
All: Deliver us
One: From the seduction of wealth
All: Deliver us
One: From the addiction of control
All: Deliver us
One: From the avarice of imperialism
All: Deliver us
One: From the idolatry of economic growth
All: Deliver us
One: From the despair of fatalism
All: Deliver us
One: From the violence of despair
All: Deliver us
One: From despair and denial
All: Deliver us
One: From denial and spiritual death
All: Deliver us
One: From the death of your gift of glorious diversity of life
All: Deliver us
One: From the madness of avarice
All: Deliver us
One: From the fears of status anxiety
All: Deliver us

One: From the blasphemy of status seeking
All: Deliver us
One: From the demonic waste of our addiction to growth
All: Deliver us
One: Deliver us, O God
All: Guide our feet to live lightly on the earth
One: In humility, we ask
All: Hear our prayer. That we may live lightly on the earth

One: Obedience to God comes before obedience to human authority
All: Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s
One: Let your will be done, not mine
All: With the help of God’s grace
One: Let us resist and confront evil everywhere we find it
All: With the help of God’s grace
One: With the killing of God’s creation
All: We will not comply
One: With the normalisation of addictive consumerism
All: We will not comply
One: With the propaganda of consumerism
All: We will not comply
One: With the rape of the earth
All: We will not comply
One: With the silencing of protest
All: We will not comply
One: With laws that betray life
All: We will not comply
One: With profit before planet
All: We will not comply
One: With the culture of consumerism
All: We will not comply
One: With the violating of our earth
All: We will not comply
One: With the destruction of peoples
All: We will not comply
One: With the building of walls to keep out climate refugees
All: We will not comply
One: With governments that are blind to the sanctity of life
All: We will not comply
One: With economic structures that impoverish and dehumanize
All: We will not comply
One: With the manipulation and control of public information
All: We will not comply
One: With economics that ignore the gift of God’s earth
All: We will not comply
One: With economics that neglect the care of God’s earth
All: We will not comply
One: With the perpetuation of violence against God’s earth

All: We will not comply
One: With structures that divide rich from poor
All: We will not comply
One: With the hypocrisy of political maneuvering
All: We will not comply

One: With the help of God’s grace
All: We will struggle for justice
One: With the compassion of Christ
All: We will stand for what is true
One: With God’s abiding kindness
All: We will love even our enemies
One: With the love of Christ
All: We will resist all evil
One: With God’s unending faithfulness
All: We will work to build the beloved community
One: With Christ’s passionate love
All: We will carry the cross
One: With God’s overwhelming goodness
All: We will walk as stewards of creation
One: With Christ’s fervent conviction
All: We will labour for truth
One: With God’s infinite mercy
All: We will live in solidarity with all people and all life
One: In the end there are three things that last
All: Faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love
One: Let us abide in God’s love
All: Thanks be to God.

PRESS RELEASE: Christian Vigil to Call for a Radical Reformation to Tackle Climate Change

23rd November 2017

Photo Opportunity: Monday 4th December, 12pm, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Christian Climate Action are inviting people to join a vigil and street theatre outside the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on 4thDecember to call for a radical reformation of the economy to ensure we protect humankind and abundant life on earth from climate change.

In the year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, ‘Pope Francis’ and ‘Martin Luther’ will visit BEIS to remind our government of their commitments to tackle climate change under the Paris Agreement and the Climate Change Act. There will also be a vigil, to which all are invited, to pray for the department, for our country, and all of us, to do what is required to protect God’s earth.

Caroline Harmon, a member of CCA said:

‘We disagree with the premise of the department that climate instability can be solved as part of a strategy for economic growth. The short-term health of the economy is being prioritised above the health of the planet. Whilst we welcome some elements of the department’s recently published Clean Growth Strategy, it just isn’t enough to meet our Paris Agreement targets. The state of creation is desperate. We have all the information, science and technology we need to lead the world away from the cliff-edge of climate instability towards a sustainable future. Whether we have the time is debatable. We must act now.’

Anyone who would like to join us can find out more on our website: https://christianclimateaction.wordpress.com

ENDS

Contact Ruth Jarman: 07970 907784

Notes for Editors:

  1. Christian Climate Action is a community of Christians supporting each other in acts of non-violent direct action and public witness, as a way of following Jesus Christ in the face of climate breakdown. https://christianclimateaction.wordpress.com
  2. A letter explaining the reasons for the protest will be delivered to the department on the day and will be up on the web site soon.
  3. The Government’s recent Clean Growth Strategy leaves the UK significantly off track achieving its targets according to Carbon Brief. https://www.carbonbrief.org/in-depth-how-the-clean-growth-strategy-hopes-to-deliver-uk-climate-goals