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THE CHURCH WE WANT

RESOURCES FOR THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF LAUDATO SI

June 18, is the second anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’s historic encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home.  Here are some resources for your use. Please spread the word!

Catholic Health Association has a compendium of resources available on their website
Prayer Resources

  • Video reflection: A Prayer for Our Earth, from the encyclical

    Addressing Climate Change

    In Laudato Si', Pope Francis makes a moral and scientific argument for recognizing and taking action on climate change. This video highlights portions of his case while also highlighting Catholic health care's response to reduce our contribution to the problem of climate change.

Additional Resources

  • Vatican website for the encyclical
  • Mercy International Association – Nine Days of Prayer. Commencing on Saturday, June 10 and concluding on Sunday, June 18, Mercy International will share reflects on verses from Laudato Si', with a short video in the form of a reflection, song or story included in the reflection page for each day. They will be available at Mercyworld.org starting June 7.
  • Catholic Climate Coalition

THE USCCB RESPONDS TO PARIS WITHDRAWAL

June 1, 2017

"The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), along with Pope Francis and the entire Catholic Church, have consistently upheld the Paris agreement as an important international mechanism to promote environmental stewardship and encourage climate change mitigation. The President's decision not to honor the U.S. commitment to the Paris agreement is deeply troubling.

The Scriptures affirm the value of caring for creation and caring for each other in solidarity. The Paris agreement is an international accord that promotes these values. President Trump's decision will harm the people of the United States and the world, especially the poorest, most vulnerable communities. The impacts of climate change are already being experienced in sea level rise, glacial melts, intensified storms, and more frequent droughts. I can only hope that the President will propose concrete ways to address global climate change and promote environmental stewardship."

The USCCB has voiced support for prudent action and dialogue on climate change since its 2001 statement: "Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good". In a letter to Congress in 2015, the U.S. Bishops, along with the presidents of Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services, encouraged the United States to sign the Paris agreement. They have since reiterated their support on several occasions. Pope Francis and the Holy See have also consistently voiced support for the Paris agreement

Bishop Oscar Cantu'
Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice & Peace

CATHOLIC LEADERS RESPOND TO PARIS WITHDRAWAL

June 1, 2017

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). 



Signatories,



Daniel J. Misleh
Executive Director, Catholic Climate Covenant



Eli McCarthy, Ph.D. 
Associate Director of Justice and Peace, Conference of Major Superiors of Men 

Fr. Michael Lasky, OFM Conv. 

Board of Directors, Franciscan Action Network 



Sheila Hopkins 
President, National Council of Catholic Women 



Scott Wright
Director, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach



Sr. Carol Keehan 
President & CEO, Catholic Health Association 



Sr. Donna Markham, OP, PhD, ABPP 
President & CEO, Catholic Charities USA 



Sr. Jane Remson, O.Carm. 
Main Representative, Carmelite NGO 

Sr. Mary Pellegrino, CSJ 
President, Leadership Conference of Women Religious 



Sr. Patricia McDermott, RSM 
President, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas 



Tomás Insua 
Movement Coordinator, Global Catholic Climate Movement 



Very Rev. Kevin Mullen, OFM 
President, English Speaking Conference, Franciscan Friars (OFM)  

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SHOULD WOMEN BECOME PRIESTS?

Univision asked 12,038 Catholics in 12 countries if women should be allowed to join the priesthood. Here, a sample of how many responded positively:

83%--France
78%--Spain
59%--United States
35%--Mexico
21%--Philippines

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--Pope Francis encouraged women attending a baptism ceremony in the Sistine Chapel to "breast-feed, without fear" inside the church. The Pontiff previously aired his support for public breast-feeding in 2013

--In a papal decree, Pope Francis established legal procedures to remove bishops who mishandle sex-abuse cases. Critics have long argued that bishops shuffle priests accused of abuse to different parishes rather than reporting them to the police.

--Pope Francis called on U.S. priests to devote more time to their parishioners' spiritual needs. But 20% of U.S. parishes no longer have a priest in residence. For each U.S. priest, there are 2,600 parishioners. (FiveThirtyEight.com)

--45% of U.S. Catholics attend Mass at least once a week. 19% attend monthly, and 35% say they attend less often or never. (The Washington Post/ABC News)