Press Release: Franciscans Urge President to Heed Word of St. Francis

Franciscans call on President Obama to heed St. Francis’ words when meeting with Pope Francis

Historic meeting offers opportunity for both men to find solutions to climate crisis

Washington, D.C.— Later this week, an historic meeting will take place between Pope Francis and President Obama. Like his namesake, Pope Francis is a strong advocate for the environment. When meeting with the President of Ecuador in 2013, the Pope said: “Take good care of creation. St. Francis wanted that. People occasionally forgive, but nature never does. If we don’t take care of the environment, there’s no way of getting around it.” The Franciscan Action Network urges Pope Francis to bring St. Francis’ voice into this meeting with President Obama.

Franciscans have a long tradition of caring for God’s creation. St. Bonaventure, a Franciscan, said that love of God is inseparable from love of nature. “While many pundits assume that the Pope took the name “Francis” due to his love of the poor, it’s also important to remember that Pope John Paul II named St. Francis the patron saint of ecology,” said FAN executive director Patrick Carolan. “With that in mind, steps must be taken by both Pope Francis and the President to stop climate change and preserve the earth for future generations.”

When President Obama met with FAN’s Director of Advocacy, Sr. Marie Lucey, he quoted St. Francis: “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” Considering the influence of St. Francis and the Catholic Church on President Obama, it’s time for him to listen to another Francis—the Pope.

When the two men meet later this week, there’s a lot for them to talk about. We pray that the President listens carefully and then takes action on behalf of God’s creation.

Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus, and the example of Saints Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is a collective Franciscan voice seeking to transform United States public policy related to peace making, care for creation, poverty, and human rights. More info: