An ecumenical celebration was organized today in Copenhagen’s main cathedral with the presence of many dignitaries from various denominations and religions. Amongst them the Queen of Denmark, archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who held a very encouraging sermon. His core idea, crucial for a courageous attitude in the face of today’s worldwide climate change crisis, is that love casts out fear. God invites us to love creation and to commit to it. He distinguishes several forms of fear. There is the fear of spoiling the heritage we have received, the gift of creation itself for which we have been called to take on responsibility. There may also be the fear of many of us to take on our shoulders the cost of the decisions we know we must make or because we feel we have to trust others whom until know we have been viewing as threatening competitors. The challenge is not to fear, but to commit to a love, out of which we will draw the energy to do what is necessary as well as the force to trust. “Don’t be afraid; act for the sake of love”.
Archbishop Rowan William’s ideas are interesting because he offers a systematic analysis, while at the same time emphasizing deep movements in the human soul. This points to a logic of spiritual discernment in which movements of consolation and desolation are translated into experiences of love and of fear respectively. This position remains open for scientific, economic and political approaches, but situates these in a larger holistic perspective and sets us free from a one sided approach of control. In this sophisticated approach religions and the experiences they embody can be of great help.
Archbishop Rowan William’s homily can be found on the web, as part of a full presentation of the liturgy.