CALIFORNIA FAITH LEADERS REACT TO POPE’S ENCYCLICAL ON CLIMATE
LOS ANGELES—Today, as Pope Francis issued an historic message to the world on the impacts of climate change, California faith leaders representing a diverse array of traditions endorsed the call for action on climate with their own statements of support.The papal encyclical is being warmly received in California, which already leads among states and nations in the transition from dirty to clean sources of energy thanks to its pioneering clean air standards and emissions marketplace, which guarantees that communities most directly impacted by pollution receive a fair share of the benefits.So it’s no surprise that influential California faith leaders – and supporters of California Delivers – echoed the themes of moral imperative, shared responsibility for the Earth, and social equity, which are at the heart of the Pope’s message. Learn more about the encyclical and how faith communities are taking action.
The following is a sampling of statements from California faith leaders:
Most Reverend Stephen E. Blaire, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Stockton:
“Pope Francis’ much anticipated Encyclical on human ecology and environment reflects from a moral and ethical perspective on how economics, technology and human behavior affect the environment and other human beings. This document written for all people of good will challenges institutions and individuals to preserve and respect creation as a gift from God to be used for the benefit of all.”
Rabbi Marvin Goodman, Rabbi in Residence, Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, San Francisco:
“The Jewish community throughout California is actively engaged with other faith groups to address the climate crisis. We see it as a moral issue that our communities can no longer ignore. Our efforts have helped make California a leader by passing landmark climate laws. We are honored that through California IPL, we work with over 650 diverse faith communities. We believe we are all called to act on climate. I’m inspired and grateful for the Pope’s high profile leadership and commitment to environmental justice.”
Imam Taha Hassane, Islamic Center of San Diego:
“The American Muslim Community endorses public outcry against man-made global climate change. Humanity is witnessing and being victimized by the disastrous effects of global warming. And, this is only the beginning. Local and National Muslim Leadership support policies that both halt environmental degradation and repair that which has already occurred. We stand with any leader, secular or spiritual, who is willing to speak out against this issue.”
The Rev. Sally Bingham, President and Founder, Interfaith Power & Light:
“Alleluia, Pope Francis is on our side! California faith communities have worked together to address global warming as a moral imperative for 15 years. With hundreds of faith communities from all major religions, we helped pass California’s landmark climate law AB 32. We are also greening our churches, mosques and synagogues and showing that climate protection, will create jobs, save money and Creation all at the same time. It is a justice issue.”
The Rev. Martin Garcia, Presbyterian Church USA, City of Wilmington:
“It breaks my heart to see how we have been destroying God’s creation with our inability to be good stewards of what God has put in our hands to care for. As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I believe we are responsible for caring for creation, and I call for all people to see around and care for this world that God left us to care for it, and as the translation of the Bible called the Message says in Genesis 1:28, ‘Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.’ Let us start now to be responsible for creation!”
The Rev. Ariel Meza, Pastor, The Cloud Church, Santa Ana and Director/Latino Ministry, Christ Our Redeemer African Methodist Episcopal Church, Irvine:
“As children of God we are all stewards of the earth, God’s creation. We therefore call on all people of faith to pray for our land, water and clean air. We call upon our brothers and sisters to reflect on what we can each do daily. That God will provide bountiful blessings, dignified jobs and intelligent technology. God’s command is that we transform the world around us for the good of all. As part of His creation and image bearers of God, we are given responsibility to use and turn the world around us for the good of all.”
Father Richard Estrada, President of the Board and Founder of Jovenes Inc., Los Angeles:
“We need good air quality in Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights and all the Eastside! It’s long overdue! How many more children and families have to suffer before any meaningful action? The time is now!!”
The mission of California Interfaith Power and Light (CIPL) is to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. This ministry intends to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard public health, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all. More: interfaithpower.org.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Stockton partners with others in advocating for justice and assisting those in need by providing help for today and hope for tomorrow. The Environmental Justice Project brings a unique Catholic voice to California’s efforts to reduce air and water pollution and counter the effects of climate change, especially as they harm the poor and vulnerable. More: ccstockton.org.
California Delivers is a coalition of more than 400 businesses, public health professionals, workers, public officials, faith leaders, community leaders and individuals focused on protecting, implementing and extending the benefits of AB 32 beyond 2020. More: CAdelivers.org.
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