Those who care about the earth and its future--and that's the vast majority of Americans and people on this planet--are excited about the pope's upcoming visit to DC. Sadly, our Capital has become the center for climate change denial. We're hoping the pope will speak out passionately about climate change and influence some of the Republicans in Congress to open their hearts and minds to this dire global crisis.
I invite you to "hold the pope in the Light" (to use our Quaker term) and send loving and supportive thoughts his way as he addresses the Congress on Tuesday, September 22. The Friends Committee on Legislation is among the many faith groups that are urging Congress to acknowledge the reality of anthropogenic climate change and to take action. See http://fcnl.org/issues/energy/
I also highly recommend this book which contains responses to the Pope's Encyclical by 60 religious leaders (including myself) who took part in this summer's Conference called "Seizing an Alternative: Towards an Ecological Civilization."
In addition, I'd like to recommend Jessica Ravitz's fine article on non-Catholics who admire the pope, in which I am quoted as Quaker activist:
Here's a description of the new book For Our Common Home. You can order it via Amazon: You can read my response on my blog at http://laquaker.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-popes-encyclical-laudato-si-from.html.
On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis addressed the world about the fate of the planet, focusing especially on the threat of climate disaster. He called for a worldview that would emphasize the interconnectedness of things and what he called an "integral ecology." In Claremont, CA, earlier the same month, a conference called "Seizing an Alternative," keynoted by Bill McKibben, also focused attention on climate change and called for a new worldview that would reflect the interconnectedness of all things, or an "ecological civilization." The conference leaders saw that their aims and hopes now had a global leader. The goals of an integral ecology and an ecological civilization are the same. The task now for those who care about the fate of the world is to give whatever support they can to Pope Francis. As a first step, more than 60 persons involved in that conference answered the pope's call for dialogue and wrote responses to the pope's encyclical letter, Laudato si'. This book is a collection of those essays, written by people representing a diversity of faith traditions and cultures and many fields of activity and inquiry. They offer support, constructive criticism, and proposals for implementing the pope's ideas. To engage a larger public, it is important to engage the encyclical seriously, by widening and deepening the discussion. This book is offered in the hopes of facilitating that conversation.