Franciscans Call for President Obama and Governor Romney to Give Plans on Climate Change

WASHINGTON, DC - The Franciscan Action Network (FAN), an organization of Franciscan sisters, friars and lay Franciscans, renews its call for President Obama and Governor Romney to lay out concrete plans to address climate change. The faith group voiced appreciation for President Obama’s statements on climate change at the Democratic convention, but called for more from both him and Governor Romney. In his acceptance speech, President Obama stated: “Climate change is not a joke. It is not a hoax. More droughts, and floods, and wildfires are not a joke. They are a threat to our children's future, and in this election you can do something about it.” Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF, Director of Advocacy at FAN, said: “It is a good start for President Obama to voice concern about climate change. But he must now show more leadership in specifying a plan to address climate change, while Governor Romney must begin by naming climate change as a critical issue.”

FAN is renewing its call, begun three weeks ago, for President Obama and Governor Romney to break their near-silence on climate change.  The Franciscans are calling the threat that climate change poses to the earth a profoundly spiritual and moral issue. The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, Pope Benedict XVI and many other faith leaders have acknowledged the science and have identified climate change as a serious moral issue that requires an immediate response. In a 2010 speech, Pope Benedict XVI decried the political obstructionism that is preventing action, saying, “I share the growing concern caused by economic and political resistance to combating the degradation of the environment.”

Patrick Carolan, Executive Director of FAN, stated: “The destruction of the environment should not be a partisan issue. Climate change is not about economic theory or political platform; it is most certainly not about partisan politics. Climate change is about our responsibility as God’s children and people of faith to care for each other and for future generations by caring for all of God’s wondrous creation. We have to ask the question: What is the legacy we are leaving future generations? We pray that our political leaders will put aside their differences and take action in a bipartisan manner—we have a moral obligation to ensure that our grandchildren can inherit an Earth that God intended.”

Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is a collective Franciscan voice seeking to transform U.S. public policy related to peacemaking, care for creation, poverty, and human rights.