Dear First Name,
Facing June, I’m reminded of a quip from one my favorite people and stalwart Covenant supporter, Bishop William Skylstad (emeritus of Spokane): “Dan,” he would say, “it’s all muck and grace.”
There is a party-crasher as we approach the second anniversary of the release of Laudato Si’: President Trump’s announcement on June 1 that not only is he committed to pulling out of the Paris agreement, but he will no longer honor U.S. contributions to the Green Climate Fund. I suppose that if you can ignore the 97% of scientists who have demonstrated the human impact on climate change, then you can sleep with a clear conscience. But from the point of view of simple human compassion, these decisions strike me as callous, at the very least. The muck and the grace.
But we move forward together knowing that while we must do our part, ultimately, we rely on God’s grace and pray that some of that grace is visited upon our political leaders. This month, I urge you to re-read Laudato Si’. Let it inspire you anew and allow it to strengthen your resolve—personally and within your community—to do more to act on the threat of climate change.
Founding Executive Director
 the Green Climate Fund, an independent, global fund established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to help poor countries better respond to the challenges of climate change. With this funding, and the collective contributions made by other advanced economies, poor countries will have resources to help them mitigate and adapt to the realities of climate change.
Action of the Month:
Traditionally, as we approach the end of our fiscal year we ask for donations to strengthen our work. This year, the need for a compelling Catholic voice on creation care is greater than ever, especially after President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Our strongest and most reliable funding source are supporters like you. Please consider a gift to Catholic Climate Covenant to allow us to continue our efforts to mobilize Catholics as a powerful force for solving climate change. Will you help us intensify these efforts with a tax-deductible gift to Catholic Climate Covenant?
Faithful Action On Climate Change
With a Unified Voice, Catholics Respond to U.S. Pulling Out of Climate Change Agreement
The U.S. Catholic Church responded swiftly and with dismay and disappointment to President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. In May, Pope Francis gifted President Trump a copy of his encyclical, Laudato Si’, and the Vatican encouraged United States leadership in the international effort to confront climate change.
Catholic Climate Covenant organized a statement signed by leaders from eleven Catholic organizations who expressed “deep disappointment” over President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement and cease American contributions to the U.N. Green Climate Fund that helps poorer nations address climate change.
Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, chairman of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued a statement reminding all that the USCCB, along with Pope Francis and the entire Catholic Church, have consistently upheld the Paris agreement as an important international mechanism to promote environmental stewardship and encourage climate change mitigation (See below: Catholics Leading the Way). He called the President’s decision not to honor the U.S. commitment to the Paris agreement, “deeply troubling”.
To send President Trump a message stating your dismay at his decision and pledging to take action on climate justice go here.
Catholics Raise Moral Concerns about Proposed Budgetary Cuts to Environmental Programs
President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget priorities were met with concern by many. The Covenant issued a statement questioning the dramatic and unwarranted cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, IA, speaking as the episcopal liaison to Catholic Climate Covenant’s Board of Directors, was part of a press call of experts sharing views about the proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. During the press call Bishop Pates stated, “From the Pope’s perspective, from our own perspective, the Catholic Climate Covenant, we really consider the budget a moral document and we concur totally with what Reverend Yearwood just said about the most vulnerable, but we also concur that this particular budget is abandoning the long-range opportunity for short-sighted, perhaps even suicidal policy for us as we embrace the future”.
Feast of St. Francis: Befriend the Wolf
To help you celebrate the Feast of St. Francis this fall (on or around October 4), the Covenant will be offering a Blessing of the Animals liturgy and a separate 90-minute educational program for use in your parishes, schools, and religious communities. Register now! We will send an email to download the program when it’s available in mid-August.
June Webinar: Securing Our Future in the Midst of Climate Change
Join us on June 22nd at 2:00 pm (eastern) for a webinar exploring international security issues and climate change. How are food and water scarcity, poverty, political instability, and social tensions exacerbated by climate change, and how do these issues affect international security? How is international security an important issue to be addressed by the Catholic Church? We will hear from Eric Garduno, Senior Policy and Legislative Specialist at Catholic Relief Services, and from Brigadier General Gerald Galloway, USA (Ret) and Advisory Board member of the Climate and Security Institute.
If you missed the May webinar, Give Us Our Daily Bread: Food, Farmers and Climate Change, you can view it here.
Catholics Leading the Way
Notre Dame’s Ask More Ideas Challenge
Notre Dame University’s Mendoza College of Business sponsors a yearly “Ask More Ideas Challenge” for its students and alumni. This year the challenge focuses on reducing one's carbon footprint in the workplace. Catholic Climate Covenant is honored to have been selected as a partner for this effort! Be sure to visit the site and participate with your ideas!
USCCB and CRS Letters on Creation Care
The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and Catholic Relief Services sent letters to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and to National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster urging them to support climate change adaptation and mitigation programs, provide global leadership in growing a sustainable energy sector, and fully fund the green Climate Fund.
Ignatian Carbon Challenge
Is your school (though can be also used in a parish or religious community setting) looking for a way to bring Laudato Si’ to life? The Ignatian Carbon Challenge might be for you! It invites both individuals and institutions to address climate change and environmental injustice through a series of monthly challenges. Check it out here.
Laudato Si' Resources
As we commemorate the second anniversary of Laudato Si’, we highlight two new Laudato Si’ resources:
1) From Mercy World International: An invitation to join in a novena leading up to the second anniversary of the release of Laudato Si’ on June 18th.