Catholic Leaders Respond to Paris Withdrawal
We, the member organizations of Catholic Climate Covenant, are deeply disappointed by President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement and stop all future payments tot he Green Climate Fund. We implore him to reconsider. The international agreement of 2015 demonstrates that all nations will be impacted by a warming world and that all nations have a corresponding responsibility to limit greenhouse gas pollution causing climate change.
Climate change is already harming vulnerable people throughout the U.S. and around the world. American citizens in Louisiana and Alaska are being displaced by rising sea levels caused by melting glaciers and thermal expansion. Across the globe, families in Zimbabwe are being devastated by crushing drought amidst some of the hottest years on record. Globally, the World Health Organization warns that “between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress.” Both at home and abroad, climate change unjustly and disproportionately harms poor and marginalized people who contribute least to the problem.
Catholic teaching insists that climate change is a grave moral issue that threatens our commitments: to protect human life, health, dignity, and security; to exercise a preferential option for the poor; to promote the common good of which the climate is part; to live in solidarity with future generations; to realize peace; and to care for God’s good gift of creation. These arguments have been made by Saint John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, bishops from every continent and, most recently, Pope Francis.
The Catholic Church recognizes that climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions. It has repeatedly called for and supported international climate change agreements including by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 2009, 2010, and 2012. Pope Francis wrote and released his ecological encyclical, Laudato Si’, in part to influence the Paris Agreement stressing that “its implementation will require unanimous commitment and generous dedication by everyone.” In Laudato Si’, he emphasized that “continuity is essential, because policies related to climate change and environmental protection cannot be altered with every change of government” (no. 181).
Here in the United States, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has encouraged the Trump Administration—in letters and visits to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Advisor Lt. Gen H.R. McMaster, and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin—to abide by the Paris Agreement and live up to its commitments for the Green Climate Fund. In March, 15,000 Catholics sent a petition to President Trump asking him to honor the Paris Agreement and to contribute to the Green Climate Fund.
Beyond the Catholic community, majorities of Americans in every state believe that the U.S. should remain in the Paris Agreement. Similarly, hundreds of U.S. businesses – including major fossil fuel companies – have urged President Trump to honor the Paris Agreement. Across the United States, the message from Americans to President Trump is clear: any short-term economic gains should not be at the expense of long-term stability. This is not what America wants.
We, the members of Catholic Climate Covenant, believe there is no justification for his decisions and we implore President Trump to reconsider this path. We will continue to raise our voices against climate policies that harm the planet and people while we will advocate for policies that respond to “both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (Laudato Si’ no. 49, emphasis in original).
Statement signed by the LCWR
LCWR Statement on the US-DPRK Crisis
This week, while tensions between the governments of the United States and the People’s Republic of Korea quickly escalated, approximately 650 members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious meeting in Orlando, FL issued a public statement imploring President Donald J. Trump to engage in dialogue and negotiation.
At this critical moment for our country and global community, we – the 650 members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious gathered in assembly – have discerned the Gospel call to embody love for the sake of the world. We believe that love is more powerful than fear, dialogue more productive than rhetoric, and connection more transformative than threats of destruction.
We call on President Trump to engage in constructive dialogue and negotiation to resolve the current crisis between the governments of the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in a manner that guarantees the peace and security that all people seek.
We commit ourselves to promote nonviolence and a compassionate response to the thirst of the world for integrity and communion.
LCWR Resolution Confronts Racism and Religious Life Click to read document.
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Campaign Nonviolence is a long-term movement to build a culture of peace and nonviolence free from war, poverty, the climate crisis, and the epidemic of violence and injustice.
Campaign Nonviolence invites us to:
•Practice nonviolence toward ourselves, toward all others, and toward a world longing for peace, economic justice, environmental healing, and effective nonviolent solutions
•Explore, study, and unleash the principles and methods of nonviolence in our lives, our communities, and our societies
•Connect the dots and join forces in the long-term struggle to abolish war, end poverty, reverse the climate crisis, and take a stand against all violence, including the structural violence of racism, sexism, homophobia, economic inequality, and all forms of oppression, and
•Discover and deepen the power of nonviolence, including the vision and tools for nonviolent change that Mohandas Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and many other people and movements have activated for social and personal transformation.
Campaign Nonviolence launched this long-term movement September 21-27, 2014 with 239 actions and events in every part of the nation.
CNV marches, rallies, vigils, prayer services, fasts and festivals took place over seven days in September from American Samoa to Maine, from Washington State to Florida, and from California to New Hampshire. Events also took place in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Canada. See this update for stories and pictures from this week of nonviolence.
To develop this week of actions, Campaign Nonviolence organized in every state in the country, led skill-building trainings across the nation, completed a national speaking tour, established nonviolence study groups nationwide, and was endorsed by over 185 national and local organizations.
Now, we are taking the next step. We encourage people everywhere to study nonviolence, practice nonviolence, build out the infrastructure of nonviolence, and take nonviolence public — including taking action again this year during Campaign Nonviolence Week of Action II, September 20-27, 2015Click on the link to watch a video, Immigration–Uniting a World of Difference, explaining the problems of our present immigration system and the need for reform: Immigration Video
Read more information: Get the Facts on Immigration
Empowerment of Women: Micro Financing
Investigate the possibility of empowering women in developing countries through micro financing. (Recommendation–CSJ Chapter 2011)
Microfinance is a general term to describe financial services to low-income individuals or to those who do not have access to typical banking services. Microfinance programs have generally targeted poor women. Many qualitative and quantitative studies have documented how access to financial services has improved the status of women within the family and the community. Women have become more assertive and confident. In regions where women’s mobility is strictly regulated, women have become more visible and are better able to negotiate the public sphere. Women own assets, including land and housing, and play a stronger role in decision making. In some programs that have been active over many years, there are even reports of declining levels of violence against women.
Please join the Sisters of St. Joseph in a commitment to empower women through access to financial services. The CSJs have partially funded the loan requests for eight women in Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Jordan, Kenya, Pakistan, Peru, and the Philippines. For more information visit KIVA or start a KIVA Free Trial.