Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates is among more than 150 Catholic leaders across the country who sent a letter to President Trump and Congress today, Nov. 17, asking them reassert U.S. leadership in the worldwide effort to address climate change.
The Catholic leaders asked President Trump and Congress to act on the basis of overwhelming climate change science, which today is at 97 percent.
They made the plea on behalf of the poor and vulnerable and future generations who will be affected by climate change.
Specifically, the letter asks President Trump and Congress to:
- Support the U.S. Senate’s request to provide $10 million to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change;
- Participate meaningfully in the deliberations of the UN Framework convention; and
- Honor our nation’s commitment to the Green Climate Fund.
“This letter demonstrates a broad, unified Catholic desire for American leadership on climate change,” said Bishop Pates, who serves as the U.S. bishops’ appointed liaison to Catholic Climate Covenant. “Catholic concern for climate change as a moral issue goes back to St. John Paul II. Faithful to the Church’s consistent teaching, Catholics in the United States will tirelessly urge our elected leaders to address one of the most pressing modern issues.”
Among those joining Bishop Pates in signing the letter are Dr. Fred P. Pestello, president of St. Louis University, Sister Teresa Maya (Sister of Charity of the Incarnate Word), who is president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and James Ennis, executive director of Catholic Rural Life.
Pope Paul VI, St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis have spoken about the risks of exploiting nature and the need to care for creation.
Catholic leaders across the nation and world have explicitly and consistently affirmed climate change as a moral issue that threatens core Catholic commitments, including to protect human life, promote human dignity, exercise a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, advance the common good, live in solidarity with future generations and care for God’s creation, which is our common home.