Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air. While I have some pretty fundamental issues with aspects of Catholicism, there’s no denying that Francis is saying many things that need to be said. He’s given two important speeches recently, the first (full text) to the US Congress:
Pope Francis electrifies Congress with speech laying out bold vision for US
Republicans and Democrats united in praise for pope, who called on Congress to transcend division and act on climate change, immigration and poverty
Pope Francis has electrified Congress with a call for action on climate change, immigration, poverty and capital punishment, laying down a challenge for the United States to transcend division and rediscover its ideals.
The pontiff triggered standing ovations – and squirming – in a historic address on Thursday which deftly mixed politics, policy and pageantry, casting an unfamiliar reverence over Washington which wrong-footed conservatives and liberals alike.
In a highly symbolic move:
To underscore his message of helping the poor, Francis went straight from the U.S. Capitol in his small black Fiat to have lunch with homeless people, telling them there was no justification for homelessness.
Pope Francis demands UN respect rights of environment over ‘thirst for power’
Pontiff tells general assembly the environment should enjoy the same rights and protections as humanity and expresses concern for persecution of Christians
If corporations can have the same legal rights as individuals, why not the environment? Greenpeace suing polluters for assault?
The pope demanded justice for the weak and affirmed the rights of the environment on Friday in a forceful speech to the United Nations that warned against “a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity”.
A day after making history by becoming the first pope to address Congress, Francis for the first time asserted that nature – as well as humanity – had rights.
“It must be stated that a true ‘right of the environment’ does exist,” Francis said.
An attack on the environment was an assault on the rights and living conditions of the most vulnerable, he said, warning that at its most extreme, environmental degradation threatened humanity’s survival.
“Any harm done to the environment, therefore is harm done to humanity,” Francis said. “The ecological crisis, and the large-scale destruction of biodiversity, can threaten the very existence of the human species,” he concluded.
Fine words on deaf ears.