KAICIID Forum, main panel photo

The KAICIID Global Dialogue Forum took place in Portugal from 14-16 May under the theme “Transformative Dialogue: Building Alliances for Peace in a Rapidly Changing World”, Photo: WCC

KAICIID is an intergovernmental organization bringing religious leaders, policymakers, and experts to the dialogue table to find common solutions to shared problems. 

In the first Global Dialogue Forum, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew reflected on why ecological sustainability and creation care should be at the very center of our attention and protection. It is especially this last dimension to our ministry and commitment that we would like to focus on today,” he said. "First, we are concerned about the environment, because we are convinced that the climate crisis is not a marginal or peripheral challenge in our world.”

He reflected that care for Gods creation is primarily a sacred and spiritual vocation and obligation. Indeed, preserving the natural environment and our planets resources is not a matter of public relations or fashionable statement,” he said. After all, our efforts to mobilize church congregations and faith communities about sustainability began long before ecology was considered popular or appealing.”

There can be no reason or excuse for our indifference or inaction, the patriarch urged. Today, all of us are well aware of the intimate and inseparable connections of the ecological crisis to the global problems of poverty, migration, and conflict,” he said. How can we, as religious leaders, not pursue the welfare of the worlds inhabitants?

The patriarch also reflected on how vulnerable we are as human beings and how fragile our environment is, if we do not work together. Our social systems frayed, and we found that we cannot control everything,” he said. We must acknowledge that the ways we use money and organize our societies have not benefited everyone.”

The patriarch urged thinking of humanity as a family and working together towards a future based on the common good.

However, dear friends, this inevitably involves making changes—sometimes radical and even difficult changes,” he said. But that is the authentic way of transformation.”

The patriarch concluded:And that is the only way toward collaboration and inclusion, As ministers of religion, we must raise awareness about the ways we use our resources.”

After reflections by the patriarch, Peter Prove, World Council of Churches (WCC) director for the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, was an input speaker during a theme session on Sacred Ecology.”

The session explored the unique roles that religious and faith communities can play in addressing issues through sacred values. Focusing on climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental protection, the session facilitated a dialogue on how spiritual and policy contributions can support ecological sustainability.


Read the the full keynote address of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew