Columbans to Congress on the 4th Anniversary of Pope Francis' Laudato Si': “Don't let this moment pass.”

June 17, 2019
Washington, DC

Tuesday, June 18th is the fourth anniversary of Pope Francis' historic environmental encyclical, Laudato Si', On Care for Our Common Home. The encyclical tackled topics such as climate change, economic injustice, biodiversity, and the interconnectedness of all life, and by doing so, enabled the Catholic Church and all of society to expand our understanding of what must be done to safeguard the natural world. 

The encyclical catalyzed hopeful movements within the Catholic Church to address the ecological crisis, such as the Global Catholic Climate Movement. This momentum also helped launch the historic Paris climate agreement in 2015, where all the nations of the world came together to pledge action on climate change and hold each other accountable to their commitments.  

Unfortunately, four years after both the publication of Laudato Si' and the adoption of the Paris agreement, the global community still has not done enough to avoid climate catastrophe. In particular, the United States' contribution to the agreement is “critically insufficient,” along with countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia. In 2017, the President began the process of removing the United States from the agreement. 

Last week at a meeting with energy executives, Pope Francis again urged for global action, saying that we are in a "climate emergency."

Rebecca Eastwood, Advocacy Coordinator for the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, explains in a new blog post that this is an “all hands on deck” situation. 

It is clear that the only way to enact the transformative change Laudato Si' calls for is if all countries of the world meaningfully engage in the Paris climate agreement. 


The U.S. Congress has an obligation to fill the void left by the administration. Recently the House of Representatives passed H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, which would recommit the U.S. to the Paris agreement. The Senate must now take similar bold action.”  

As people of faith, we are called to act boldly. On the fourth anniversary of the document that inspired the Church to make care for creation a more central focus, Congress, as well as the President, has a responsibility to do the same. 

The time is urgent: Don't let this moment pass! 




For more information
Contact: Rebecca Eastwood, Advocacy Coordinator
Office: 202-635-5811 | Email:  

About the Columban Center
The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach is a project of the Missionary Society of St. Columban We believe that policies and decisions should be informed by the experiences of the people most impacted by those policies and decisions. We advocate for peace and justice, and are guided by the Gospels, Catholic Social Teaching, and the experience of Columban missionaries and the community they serve.

Publication Date
June 17, 2019