Pope Francis as Pope Hormisdas?

In several ways, the character of Pope Hormisdas II in CHOIR OF CLOISTERED CANARIES parallels the scientific bent of Pope Francis who called upon other religious-spiritual leaders to make a joint appeal at the upcoming meeting of the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November at Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday, October 3, 2021, to offer concrete solutions to save the planet from “an unprecedented ecological crisis.”

Pope Francis takes part in the “Faith and Science: Towards COP26” meeting with other religious leaders ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November in Britain, at the Vatican, October 4, 2021. Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

The “Faith and Science: Towards COP26” meeting brought together leaders representing Christendom, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and Jainism. The leaders represent about 3/4 of the population of the world, a significant percentage of people across the planet. Perhaps that collective voice will be heard.

In addressing the forum, which was organized by The Vatican, Britain, and Italy, Pope Francis said, “COP26 represents an urgent summons to provide effective responses to the unprecedented ecological crisis and [to] the crisis of values that we are presently experiencing and, in this way, to offer concrete hope to future generations. We want to accompany it with our commitment and [with] our spiritual closeness.”

The appeal, which described climate change as a “grave threat,” was posited as a “war on creation,” that calls for a “global financial architecture that repents of its sins in the past 100 years,” including changes in tax rules to promote green activity.

“If one nation sinks, we all sink,” said Rajwant Singh, a U.S. Sikh leader. The pope said, “Each of us has his or her religious beliefs and spiritual traditions; but no cultural, political or social borders or barriers prevent us from standing together.”

In Chapter 10, page 221, of CHOIR OF CLOISTERED CANARIES, Pope Hormisdas II speaks to Pope Francis’s signature theme — Environmental protection. “Climate change is causing the planet Earth to be on Fire!Failure to cut the use of fossil fuels leads to a spiral of extreme climate changes due to a catastrophic rise in global temperature … Civilization requires energy, but energy use must not destroy civilization!” Nonetheless, Pope Hormisdas II, a scientist, is also interested in alchemy.

Francis, 84, about 11 years ago and several times thereafter appealed to the fossil fuel CEO’s and investers to have good faith in protecting the environment to no avail. He continues to strongly support the environment and the goals of the 2015 U.N. Paris accord to reduce global warming. He told young people at the weekend that theirs was “perhaps the last generation” to save the planet.

The pope’s impassioned appeal to protect nature is increasingly urgent as the global pandemic alters lifestyles and makes painfully plain the fragility of life.

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