Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) met with Pope Francis and high-level Vatican leaders to discuss the importance to act on climate change and to encourage the Catholic Church to continue to use their moral authority to elevate the issue. At the Vatican yesterday, Senator Markey and five other legislators from around the world met with Pope Francis and Cardinals one week after the Pope made the biblical case for action to cut the pollution causing climate disruption.
“It was an honor and a privilege to meet with Pope Francis and other Vatican leaders to share our common concern about the challenge of our time, climate change,” said Senator Markey, who chairs the Foreign Relations subcommittee on international climate issues and leads the U.S. Senate Climate Change Clearinghouse. “The Pope and all people of faith understand that climate change is a moral issue, and that we are called to respond to this personal and planetary challenge.”
Senator Markey’s visit comes just days before President Obama is set to unveil rules that would cut carbon emission from America’s aging coal-fired power plants that produce massive amounts of unregulated heat-trapping pollution.
Senator Markey traveled to Rome as part of a delegation from GLOBE International, the world’s leading international group of legislators pushing for climate change legislation. Senator Markey and other legislators from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Italy, and the Philippines met with Cardinals and other officials. Earlier this year, Senator Markey hosted more than 100 legislators from the group in the U.S. Senate to push for increased global action on climate change.
Senator Markey discussed the moral imperative of necessary actions to meet the national security, health and economic development challenges of climate change with Cardinal Petro Parolin, the Cardinal Secretary of State. The group also met with Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to discuss their support of the Pope’s work on climate change and its impact on humans, especially the poor. They also discussed the forthcoming encyclical on these issues.
Senator Markey and the international legislators met with other environmental officials from the Vatican, pledging to bring the message from the Church back to their home countries.
– Information and photo from Senator Markey’s office