FAN Participates in Delegation Handing Over Petition Signatures to White House Representatives

Chloe Schwab, Ann Scholz, Marianne Comfort, Dan Utech, Melissa Rogers, Jason Miller
(L to R) Chloe Schwab, Ann Scholz, Marianne Comfort, Dan Utech, Melissa Rogers, Jason Miller

FAN staff member, Jason Miller, as part of a delegation of representatives of the  Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) delivered to the White House over 20,000 petition signatures from Catholics all over the country asking world leaders at the Paris Climate Summit (COP21) to take bold action on climate change. Melissa Rogers, of the Office of Faith Based Initiatives and Dan Utech, the Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change were on hand to receive the copies. These signatures are part of the Catholic Climate Petition launched by GCCM in April that currently has over 730,000 signatories from 130 different countries.

The petition holds the unique status of being the only environmental petition to be endorsed by Pope Francis . The petition has also been endorsed by Cardinal Turkson, Cardinal Tagle and over 20 other individual bishops around the world.  In the United States, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in Washington and Cardinal Sean O’Malley in Boston recently added their signatures. All petition signatures will be presented by Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Brazil to world leaders in Paris on November 28.
Ann Scholz of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), a member of today’s delegation, remarked, “Climate is a common good given to all and meant for all. Each of us has a responsibility to cooperate with God to protect our common home and to care for all of creation. The LCWR is hopeful that the 2015 Paris Climate Conference will lead to a robust agreement to protect our common home for present and future generations.”
Marianne Comfort representing the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas' Institute Justice Team stated “Our sisters in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Philippines who are experiencing melting glaciers, rising sea levels and devastating storms have been crying out for our action on this issue. We hope that world leaders at the international climate talks in Paris in December will take heed of Pope Francis’ moral imperative to work for a more just and sustainable world.”
“In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis encourages us to see the connections between environmental destruction, the poor, and our Christian vocation,” stated Jason Miller of the Franciscan Action Network. “With the U.S. as one of the world’s largest carbon polluters, we are called to find ways to act in solidarity with the poor who are most vulnerable to our changing climate.”

In addition to those quoted, Chloe Schwabe of the Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns and Scott Wright of the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach were also part of today’s delegation.
The full text of the petition states: “Climate change affects everyone, but especially the poor and most vulnerable people among us. Inspired by Pope Francis and the Laudato Si' encyclical, we call on you to drastically cut carbon emissions to keep the global temperature rise below the dangerous 1.5°C threshold, and to aid the world’s poorest in coping with climate change impacts.”