Anglican primate tackles island issue head on
WHEN the Archbishop of York passed through the Pacific in August, his visit went relatively unnoticed by the world. Even the local media confined Reverend
Dr John Sentamu to Page Two or Three, focusing mainly on his meeting dignitaries and planting mangrove seedlings on Pangaimotu – a Tongan island which is
under threat of rising sea levels.
Through Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, the Ugandan-born archbishop prelate took to the pulpit to preach to the church on the need to address the issue of climate change.
“Climate change affects everyone: agriculture, tourism, fisheries, water, health and wellbeing,” Sentamu said. “The skills and capabilities of local populations, national governmental authorities and regional organisations must act to ameliorate the effects of climate change.”
As the second-highest ranking Anglican bishop – only the Archbishop of Canterbury as head of the church outranks him – Sentamu’s message is powerful. For it calls on the world’s 61.8million Anglicans to act against rising sea levels, carbon emissions and the need for joint action to stop a worrying global trend – irresponsibility in the area of climate change.
Furthermore, the former lawyer told parishioners throughout the region, individuals needed to speak up about climate change on behalf of those without a voice.
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