WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Green Party of the United States has published a message welcoming Pope Francis I to the U.S. The welcome, written by co-chair Andrea Mérida with help from other Catholic Greens, is appended below.
Greens have praised the Pope’s statements on the need for global action to fight climate change and the damage caused by capitalism and corporate greed.
In his address outside the White House on Wednesday, Sept. 23, Pope Francis said, “Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation. When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history. We still have time to make the changes needed to bring about a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them.”
The Green Party enthusiastically agrees.
Statement of Welcome
The Green Party of the United States welcomes His Holiness, Pope Francis I, to our country. We see Pope Francis as our strong ally in the struggle against the decimation of our environment. We join our voices with his as we also call for “a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet” (Encyclical Letter: “Laudato Si,“).
The Green Party’s platform calls for the right of all people to live, work, learn, and play in safe and healthful environments and for their right to influence decisions that affect environmental quality in their communities. We believe that His Holiness is right in calling out “[t]he failure of global summits on the environment make it plain that our politics are subject to technology and finance. There are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected.”
We also call upon the leader of the world’s largest Christian denomination to take this powerful encyclical’s message and begin the process of rescinding the canonization of Junipero Serra, the Franciscan priest of California canonized on Wednesday. Serra oversaw the California mission system and the atrocities committed against California’s Native American nations. We hope that with thoughtful meditation on this history, he will be inspired to begin a path toward reconciliation with our country’s indigenous populations.
As Greens we honor the principle of diversity, including social and economic justice for the LGBTQ community, for people of many different cultures, and for people of many belief traditions, including atheism. The U.S. system of Common Law is different in principle and in practice from the Roman Law tradition that informs traditional Catholic thinking on such matters as women’s reproductive rights, marriage, and human sexuality. We may differ from the Vatican on the correct way to implement social and legal norms to promote justice and freedom, even as we agree on the moral imperative to do so.
As Green Catholics, we recognize that our love for the natural world and our thirst for justice for the oppressed was born deep within the bosom of our faith. It informs our actions even today. Pope Francis’ words have inspired many of us to reconnect with that tradition. In that spirit, we invite him to maintain this dialog and collaboration as we seek economic systems that value people over profit and work to end the global climate crisis, for the good of all humankind.
Your Holiness, welcome to the United States of America!