Pope Francis uses U.S. trip to shine a light on climate change

Photo: WWLP

A truly warm welcome for Pope Francis Wednesday morning, followed by talks of warming. Thousands of people crowded the White House lawn to hear the Holy Father in English, who wasted no time getting to an issue on which he’s passionate.

Pope Francis said the focus on climate change is critical; it’s a problem that can no longer be left to a future generation. Francis wrote about the care of our common home in his encyclical released back in May.

22News spoke with a Catholic climate organization about the message; executive director Lonnie Ellis said it’s about more than politics and science. It’s a moral issue; he said global warming has even more of a harmful impact on those living in poverty.

“His encyclical letter was addressed to every living person on the planet. We can all join together as humanity to take on this challenge and we have solutions,” said Ellis.

One of the most anticipated stops of this trip happens Thursday, when Pope Francis addresses U.S. lawmakers at the Capitol. We’ve known all along this trip wasn’t just to meet and speak with Catholics, but to deliver his message to America.

While that’s happening, a huge environmental rally will be happening outside just across from the Capitol.

Mark Dupont of the Diocese of Springfield told 22News that on Thursday the Diocese will offer a re-showing of Pope Francis’ address to Congress followed by a discussion being facilitated by faculty from the Elms College. It all begins at 7:30pm in the Bishop Marshall Center behind St Michael’s Cathedral.  The event is free and open to all.

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