“We are the cause of climate change. We are the solution.”
We, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, join with other members of our global Catholic community and people of goodwill throughout the world in expressing our deep concern in the face of President Donald Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement and stop future payments to the Green Climate Fund. This decision will only increase the negative impacts of climate change already affecting vulnerable populations around the world. As one of the industrialized nations most responsible for climate change, the United States has a moral responsibility to continue working with the global community to reduce our impact and support those already affected.
We believe, as Pope Francis stated in Laudato Si, that the cries of the Earth and the cries of the poor are one and the same. Our CCVI charism calls us to make real the healing and saving love of God in the world. This healing and saving love promotes clean and healthy environments where all life can thrive and human dignity is respected. Given the threats posed by climate change to this mission and vision, we are impelled to speak out on behalf of all those currently impacted, those who will come after us, and our Mother Earth herself.
Despite the President’s decision, as a congregation and people of faith we remain committed to doing all we can to protect and care for the Earth, our common home. One of the many ways that we will continue to do this is through our Headwaters Sanctuary in San Antonio, TX. Headwaters at Incarnate Word promotes science, sustainability, and sanctuary for all. Through offering a space for reflection and environmental education, we encourage the ecological conversion Pope Francis calls for in Laudato Si. Through ecosystem restoration, we heal the land and connect the community to Earth care through active participation in its improvement and preservation. In collaboration with the University of the Incarnate Word and the National Weather Service, Headwaters at Incarnate Word bolsters climate science by collecting data via a collaborative weather station, the only such station in the region. Through these actions and others, we will continue to support the global community in countering climate change.
As Catholic Relief Services has boldly stated, “We are the cause of climate change. We are the solution.” We remain clear in our commitment, and look forward to partnering with other like-minded groups and organizations in the coming months and years to continue addressing climate change, to care for those already impacted, and to further promote sustainability.