Target: Pope Francis of the Catholic Church
Goal: Thank Pope Francis for his support of environmental conservation and anti-fracking efforts around the world
Pope Francis isn’t the first Pope to support important environmental issues, but he’s the one topping headlines today. In a recent meeting with Argentine environmentalists, Pope Francis said that “he is preparing an encyclical — a letter addressing a part of Catholic doctrine — about nature, humans, and environmental pollution.” He proceeded to pose with environmental leaders holding t-shirts that read, “No To Fracking” and “Water is More Precious Than Gold.” After the Argentine meeting, he was praised for being the newest anti-fracking supporter.
Although most American Catholics tend to agree with the pope’s open-minded viewpoints on social issues, some conservative groups have felt threatened by his stance. Others have criticized Pope Francis for overstepping his area of expertise and for making political statements that undermine his religious position. But as former Pope John Paul recognized, environmental issues cannot be separated from care for the poor, a basic principle of the Catholic faith. “In the face of such situations it would be wrong to assign responsibility to the poor alone for the negative environmental consequences of their actions. Rather, the poor, to whom the earth is entrusted no less than to others, must be enabled to find a way out of their poverty. This will require a courageous reform of structures, as well as new ways of relating among peoples and States,” Pope John Paul said.
Sign the below petition to thank Pope Francis for his support of environmental sustainability and anti-fracking efforts, and to ask him to continue to meet with intelligent environmental leaders to learn the facts and understand the consequences of these destructive practices.
Dear Pope Francis,
Thank you using your position of power to keep an open mind and gain a deeper understanding of the environmental issues most relevant to today’s world. Not only does fracking pose devastating environmental concerns, but it also threatens the livelihood and economy of the world’s poorest regions.
Your home nation of Argentina has been particularly attractive to American oil companies, like Chevron, because of its shale oil and gas potential. I am urging you to silence your critics by becoming an outspoken advocate for the issues that you truly believe in. But we cannot expect future generations to thrive on land that we are destroying before they were born. I look forward to hearing your official statement about fracking and other important environmental concerns in the days ahead.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: PaoNu via Flickr