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The first COP 27 screening of the Letter was presented by the Laudato Si Movement, the Vatican delegation, and the Senegalese government on November 10, 2022. It took place at COP27’s Blue Zone in the Government of Senegal Pavilion. Before the film was shown, Archbishop Nicolas Henry Marie Denis Thévenin, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Arab Republic of Egypt, had a roundtable conversation with Fra. Angel Cortez, OFM, the representative of the Franciscan Delegation, and with other representatives of Catholic organizations.

In the conversation, Archbishop Nicolas Henry Marie Denis Thévenin underlined that “The Letter” will encourage those attending COP 27 to set a higher moral standard for what they wish to accomplish in order to cut fossil fuel emissions. The letter will concentrate on significant issues such as how poor nations are more affected by the problem than other regions, how faith and science may coexist, and how crucial it is to examine the climate catastrophe from a Catholic perspective. The Pope’s hope that “COP 27 and COP 15 can contribute to uniting the human family” (cf. ibid., 13) in effectively tackling the double challenge of climate change and the decline of biodiversity will be echoed in scenes in the film that address these topics.

There must be a discussion. The COP 27 will test governments’ capacity to address how urgent this situation is as well as their ability to incorporate the perspectives of those who have witnessed and experienced environmental catastrophes into their discussions. Pope Francis claims in the film that conversing with people from various backgrounds is “like a chorus,” where everyone must sing in unison. We all must sing. And right now, unity means preserving Mother Earth, preserving biodiversity, and preserving ourselves and our children. Unity is now saving Mother Earth, biodiversity, and our own and our children’s lives. Pope Francis’s Letter.

The letter has the ability to influence how people communicate during COP 27 by bringing people together. In the end, the voices of the poor, native people, young people, and animals can be heard throughout the movie.

The documentary produced by Oscar-winning Off The Fence Productions and presented by YouTube Originals was released on Oct 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a day which also marked the Holy See’s official entry into the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Fr. Angelito Cortez, OFM