Diocesan Bishop Glettler received worrying words on the occasion of the Austria-wide climate strike: “Tomorrow will be too late!” he warned on his Instagram profile. However, Bishop received words of praise for the “Fridays for Future” demo in Innsbruck, which was also attended by Mayor Georg Willy (Greens) and State Transport Councilor René Zumtobel (SPO). “It was a loud, energetic rally that expressed a ‘taste of a better future’ despite the dangerous climate situation.”
Glettler spoke of the 1,000 people taking part in the climate strike in Innsbruck; According to police, there were 150 to 200 people.
Climate strikes were held across Austria on Friday. Many initiatives and NGOs participated, including “Grandmothers against the Right” with the banner “Climate at risk – Democracy at risk”.
This was not the first time that Herman Glattler appeared at a “Fridays for Future” climate demonstration. In November 2019, they opened a climate protection demo in Lienz. Addressing the children and youth present, he declared at the time: “You are the awakening we need.”
He also called for widespread participation in the climate protests in Innsbruck on Friday. He called on young people to take fears about the future seriously and “stay on topic”.
At a press conference on Friday, the Innsbruck diocesan bishop expressed his understanding of particularly drastic forms of climate protest – keyword road blockades using climate glue. Youth using such tools should be viewed as “prophetic warnings”. “They will have to overcome our panic until we finally step up and take effective countermeasures.”
The bishop also appealed to politicians: “Silencing or criminalizing vigilante forces only makes the situation worse.”
Bishop Turnowski, who heads the department of children and youth pastoral care at the bishops’ conference, explained on Instagram: Christians have a responsibility “for the creation entrusted to us by God.”
In a joint statement ahead of the climate strike, representatives of local churches and “Religion for the Future of Vienna” called for participation in the strike. The bishops, among others, said in a statement: “As religious leaders, we call on you to participate in the global climate strike and send a clear public signal for climate protection by standing shoulder to shoulder with the younger generation. ” Turnovski, Serbian-Orthodox Bishop Andrej (Silaradzic) and Armenian Apostolic Bishop Tiran Petrosian.
The statement said that dangerous global warming is not destiny. If governments initiate decisive, rapid climate protection, warming can be controlled. The climate strikes will show that “it is absolutely essential to achieve the Paris climate goals.”
We want to show rightfully concerned young people: “We support your demand for a climate-friendly future! we care about you!”
Last year was less successful for the Austrian Church than the climate attacks: 90,975 Catholics turned away in 2022. Despite significant population growth, it remains low at 1.96 percent. Given this negative record, more and more celebrities are asking themselves questions. What is the church doing wrong?