ANTELIAS: "Global Warming constitutes a Global Warning"

Press Release
Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Contact: V.Rev.Father Krikor Chiftjian, Communications Officer
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E-mail: [email protected]

PO Box 70 317

Armenian version:


Says His Holiness Aram I

Referring to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on
global warming, His Holiness Aram I has welcomed the scientists’ frank
statement that "global warming is real and that humans are mostly to blame
for it". His Holiness has long held the position that the ecological crisis
is integral to the ecumenical agenda. As far back as 1994, speaking as
Moderator of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC),
Aram I raised this global concern, insisting that "unlimited exploitation of
earth’s limited resources has jeopardized the eco-life support systems" (cf.
Aram I, In Search of Ecumenical Vision, Antelias, 2002, pp 162-180).

According to His Holiness, the ecological crisis, in all its aspects,
dimensions and manifestations, including global warming, "is essentially a
theological-ethical issue, related to humanity’s role in the creation".
Catholicos Aram I salutes the growing awareness and depoliticization of the
crisis and the call of Paris for a new environmental policy, and he points
out that "political ecological, economic and scientific prescriptions will
fall short unless they are solidly supported by a theological-ethical
perspective and vision".

Catholicos Aram I believes that Christian theology has a crucial role to
play in this respect, and that it must re-emphasize and develop "the
eco-theological and eco-ethical paradigms inherent in biblical and patristic
teachings". He asks, "What do we mean by being ‘master’ or ‘steward’ of
creation?" What can we do when our political leaders, with the survival of
the planet at stake, continue to support policies that allow industries and
individuals to continue to blindly pour greenhouse gases into the
atmosphere? His Holiness believes it is crucial that we "perceive humanity’s
true vocation in the creation", which is caring for the planet and working
for its survival. To practice this vocation, people and governments must
respond collectively. There is no easy way. We must move from "domination to
accountability." It is no longer supportable for human beings to be
hyperindividualized. We have sold our souls in order to live luxuriously. If
we do not move from "anthropocentrism to theo-centrism", we will soon
succeed in frustrating God’s plan for the world.

We must move towards what environmentalist Bill McKibben, in a recent issue
of The New York Review of Books, calls "the technology of community". We
must develop the "knowledge about how to cooperate to get things done".
Cooperation and community building are important aspects of all religions,
and His Holiness believes that in this process there is a space for all
religions to work together.

The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the history and
mission of the Cilician Catholicosate, you may refer to the web page of the
Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.

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