When in Rome...

For Lent, Catholics are fasting for climate justice.

February 21, 2015

To honor the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, many Catholics this Lenten season are participating in a fast of their own—for climate justice. Organized by the Global Catholic Climate Movement (as part of a larger interfaith fast leading up to November's climate conference in Paris), the fast is intended to raise awareness for those already suffering the effects of a warming world. Forty-five countries are tag-teaming the effort, with each choosing to go without food on one day (see map for specific dates).

The initiative also encourages a “carbon fast,” so if you support the idea but get too hangry when skipping meals, try a meatless Monday, walk or bike to work instead of driving, or break out those reusable bags. Because let’s face it, no one stands to benefit from you depriving yourself of chocolate for six weeks (yet again), and the climate needs all the help it can get.

Pope Francis has been vocal on climate change, saying “it is man who continuously slaps down nature” (Amen!) and that we have “a grave ethical and moral responsibility” to draft an international climate treaty (ditto). He is expected to publish an encyclical—or set of instructions to clergy—on climate change later this year. So Catholics and non-Catholics alike, let’s put all that guilt to good use.


onEarth provides reporting and analysis about environmental science, policy, and culture. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. Learn more or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Join Us

When you sign up you'll become a member of NRDC's Activist Network. We will keep you informed with the latest alerts and progress reports.