Climate Justice and the Moral Obligation to God’s Creation

Fr. Sam Fuller, OFM Cap. was the catalyst for the first annual Riverfront Earth Day environmental awareness event in Hartford, CT.
FAN was instrumental in building Catholic turn out for the People's Climate Movement rally in April 2017

In the U.S., we have seen more powerful storms like Superstorm Sandy and Katrina, more severe wild fires, and the worst drought in several decades. Abroad, humanity is bracing for flooding of densely-populated coastal regions, crop failure and famine, and mass migrations resulting in violent conflict. We must act, quickly and powerfully, to change systems and laws towards climate justice.

Our campaign begins with organized Franciscans and Franciscan-hearted people making a difference. We draw inspiration from St. Francis, the patron saint of ecology, and root ourselves in a Franciscan spirituality of creation. With the release of his encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis encourages people to think of the poor, who are most affected by climate disruption and actively engage in reducing carbon footprints.

Our grassroots work involves bringing Franciscan-hearted people together, organizing effective events, building effective teams, and working to break through the political impasse on climate change. 

Breaking Through Polarized Politics

We know we need political, business, and community leaders of diverse political beliefs to find common ground in order to make progress on this issue. Franciscan Action Network has the rare ability to bring together leaders from across the political spectrum to help our country move past our polarized politics.

Our campaign follows a unique, Franciscan approach to grassroots organizing:

Relationship-Centered.

Francis saw himself as a brother to all and experienced a world of universal kinship. Our work involves building relationships—in your community, with Franciscans around the country, and with unlikely allies and political figures. We implement our national grassroots strategy in local communities, building up local relationships to make greater impact. Working in strong relationship with one another, we will help you develop as a leader for social and ecological justice.

Read about a richly Franciscan approach to climate change here.

One such relationship resulted in FAN's becoming a founding member organization of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM), which has a mission to serve "the Catholic family worldwide to turn Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ encyclical into action for climate justice, by undergoing our own ecological conversion, transforming our lifestyles and calling for bold public policies together with the wider climate movement." During 2016 and 2017, FAN served as fiduciary sponsor until GCCM's tax exempt status was confirmed. FAN continues to support GCCM by serving on it's steering committee.

Strategic and Effective.

We strategize together and ask ourselves tough questions:

What are the power dynamics at work? What impact are we having? What is required of us? We know we cannot do it alone so we amplify our efforts in coalition with likely and unlikely allies.

Resources:

Eco-Justice

Can Religion Save the Planet? article in Spirituality and Health
5 Charts About Climate Change That Should Have You Very, Very Worried in The Atlantic
Global Catholic Climate Movement Resources

Sustainable Living

Carbon Footpring Calculator of the US EPA
Northwest Earth Institute well-regarded discussion courses in voluntary simplicity
Center for a New American Dream connections between consumption, quality of life, and the environment
Stewardship of Resources: Recycling Old Clothes article by Franciscan Mission Service
Leave it Better videos on sustainable living
Treehugger green living news and resources

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