[Editor’s note: This statement is posted on NEYM’s website at: http://neym.org/news/public-statement-climate-change-response-pope-francis]
In his address to the U.S. Congress and to our nation, Pope Francis invited us to pray for him, and to pray together.
On behalf of the Quaker faith communities in the six New England states, we offer our prayers for the healing of the world. We join our voice with all who strive to meet our sacred obligations to the planet we share.
Francis reminds us that all creatures are connected, that each must be cherished with love and respect. We are dependent on one another. It is through our relationships with each living being that we make real our love for God and for Creation. Francis challenges us to accept the urgency of the crisis created by human-caused climate disruption, recognizing it as a central challenge of our time. This work cannot be left to the future. Responding to the climate crisis requires of us a serious and clear-eyed recognition of the severity of our impact on the planet and the devastating effects already being experienced, especially by the most vulnerable. Our actions today determine the world our children will inherit. We welcome Francis’ message and his conviction that acting together we can still make a difference.
It is the testimony of Quakers that we are divinely required to respond with courageous and responsible efforts to avert the most serious effects of environmental deterioration caused by human activity. At our best, we seek the deep healing of the world. As a faith community, Francis’ words confront us with the question, “Are we prepared to bear the burden of this truth?”
We know there is a place for us in this work. We are called to act in hope, with persistence, courage and charity.
We witness Francis’ visit with gratitude for his faithful engagement with the people of the United States, both as a nation and personally. We pray that all people will hear and heed the important challenge this servant of God has brought to our country. We call on faith communities and people of faith to take up this burden as together we find the way forward.
Fritz Weiss, Presiding Clerk
Noah Baker Merrill, Yearly Meeting Secretary
New England Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)