IT’S TIME TO TAKE ACTION TOGETHER
Optional Member Code
PRESS RELEASE

Letter to President Trump and Members of United States Congress

 

16-Nov-2017

Catholic Letter to Administration and Congress 11.16.2017 .pdf

November 16, 2017

Dear President Trump and Members of the United States Congress:

As leaders of Catholic organizations in the United States, we write with one voice to urge you to reassert U.S. leadership in the global effort to address climate change. On behalf of people who are poor and vulnerable and future generations, we especially ask that you act based upon the best available climate science; fund the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; honor U.S. commitments to the Green Climate Fund; and meaningfully participate in the deliberations of the UNFCCC.

The Catholic Church has long called for a prudent approach to creation. In 1971, Paul VI wrote , “Man is suddenly becoming aware that by an ill-considered exploitation of nature he risks destroying it and becoming in his turn the victim of this degradation.” His successors, Saint John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis have advanced the Church’s call for us to care for creation, a tenet of Catholic social teaching.

Catholic leaders across the nation and world have explicitly and consistently affirmed climate change as a moral issue that threatens core Catholic commitments, including to: protect human life, promote human dignity, exercise a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, advance the common good, live in solidarity with future generations, and care for God’s creation which is our common home.

The Catholic Church has for years supported actions to address climate change based upon the best available science. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) expressed in its 2001 statement Global Climate Change: A Plea For Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good: “In facing climate change, what we already know requires a response; it cannot be easily dismissed. Significant levels of scientific consensus—even in a situation with less than full certainty, where the consequences of not acting are serious—justifies, indeed can obligate, our taking action intended to avert potential dangers.”

We are thus obligated by our faith to act – especially now considering the November 3rd National Climate Assessment from thirteen federal agencies that concludes:

“[B]ased on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.”

Guided by these principles and findings, we members of the Catholic Church in the United States ask that you:

1. Fund the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The UNFCCC and IPCC are indispensable institutions for the advancement of global diplomacy, action, science and knowledge on climate change. The United States has provided funding for these institutions since 1992, and we applaud the Senate Appropriations Committee’s recent bipartisan amendment to include $10 million for them in the Senate’s FY2018 budget. We echo the USCCB in its letter urging Congress to support this amendment and call for the Administration and Congress to support future allocations to ensure US participation and leadership in the global efforts to address climate change.

2. Meaningfully participate in the deliberations of the UNFCCC

Climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions. As our nation enjoys vast resources and has been a primary contributor to climate change, justice requires that the U.S. display strong and consistent leadership within the UNFCCC. In this way, the U.S. can help secure science-based global commitments which rapidly reduce greenhouse gas pollution and avoid so-called “tipping points” towards unavoidable and catastrophic impacts.

3. Honor U.S. Commitments to the Green Climate Fund

One measure of a society’s greatness is how it treats people who are poor and vulnerable. As our Catholic tradition instructs us to put the needs of the poor and vulnerable first, we urge you to honor U.S. commitments to the Green Climate Fund. The Fund helps less developed nations most impacted by climate change to build resilience to present and future impacts. Their peoples are disproportionately harmed by climate change despite often contributing least to the problem.

We heed the call of our Church, which implores, “As individuals, as institutions, as a people we need a change of heart to preserve and protect the planet for our children and for generations yet unborn.” We hope that you will accept our appeal, so that we may continue to dialogue and work together to manifest this change of heart.

Prayerfully submitted,

Sister Sara Dwyer, ASC
JPIC Coordinator
Adorers of the Blood of Christ, US Region
St. Louis, MO

Mary Lou Retelle 
 President 
 Anna Maria College 
Paxton, MA 

 Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE 
President and CEO 
 Ascension Health 
 St. Louis, MO 

 Michael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D. 
 President 
 Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities 
 Washington, DC 

Michael J. Sheeran, S.J.
President
Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
Washington, D.C. 

 Sister Joseph Spring, SCC 
 President 
 Assumption College for Sisters
 Mendham, NJ 

Very Rev. James Gannon, OFM 
Provincial 
Assumption BVM Province   
Franklin, WI                                                                                                                             

Kevin G. Quinn 
 President 
 Aquinas College 
 Grand Rapids, MI   

 Ronald A. Slepitza, Ph.D. 
 President 
 Avila University 
 Kansas City, MO   

 Linda M. Bevilacqua, OP, Ph.D. 
 President 
 Barry University 
 Miami Shores, FL   

 Sister Marilisa Helena da Silva, OSF 
 Congregational Minister 
 Bernardine Franciscan Sisters 
 Reading, PA                 

 Camille Grippon 
 Director, Ecology and Global Ministries 
 Bon Secours Health System, Inc.   

 Thomas D. Stegman, S.J., Ph.D.  
 Dean  
 Boston College School of Theology and Ministry  
 Boston, MA   

 Rachelle L. Karstens, JD 
 Executive Vice President 
 Briar Cliff University 
 Sioux City, IA   

 Donald B. Taylor, Ph.D. 
 President 
 Cabrini University 
 Radnor, PA   

 Nancy H. Blattner, Ph.D., OPA 
 President 
 Caldwell University 
 Caldwell, NJ   

 John J. Hurley 
 President 
 Canisius College 
 Buffalo, NY   

 Sr. Jane Remson, O.Carm.  
 President  
Carmelite NGO 
New Orleans, LA    

Sister Donna Markham OP, Ph.D. 
President and CEO 
Catholic Charities USA 
Alexandria, VA     

Most Reverend Richard Pates Bishop of Des Moines  
Episcopal Liaison to the Catholic Climate Covenant 

Dan Misleh 
Executive Director
Catholic Climate Covenant 
Washington, DC

Sr. Carol Keehan 
President and CEO 
Catholic Health Association of the United States 
Washington, DC 

Kevin E. Lofton, FACHE 
Chief Executive Officer 
Catholic Health Initiatives 
Englewood, CO   

Sean Callahan 
President and CEO 
Catholic Relief Services 
Baltimore, MD   

James Ennis 
Executive Director 
Catholic Rural Life 
St. Paul, MN   

Joseph J. Fahey, Ph.D. 
Chair 
Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice 
Weymouth, MA   

Sr. Mary Anne Owens, SSND 
Provincial Leader 
Central Pacific Province of the School Sisters of Notre Dame 
St. Louis, MO 

Yvette Dargy, SSA 
Pauline Laurence, SSA 
Joanne Dion, SSA 
Sisters of Saint Anne Rhode Island, 
Massachusetts and Louisiana 

Lynn Babington 
President 
Chaminade University of Honolulu 
Honolulu, HI   

Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D. 
President 
Chestnut Hill College 
Philadelphia, PA   

Joanne M. Burrows, SC, PhD 
President 
Clarke University 
Dubuque, IA   

Philip L. Boroughs, S.J. 
President 
College of the Holy Cross 
Worcester, MA   

Charles L. Flynn, Jr. 
President 
College of Mount Saint Vincent 
Bronx, NY   

Scott Wright  
Director  
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach 
Washington, DC   

Dr. Moya K. Dittmeier 
Executive Director 
Conference for Mercy Higher Education 
Silver Spring, MD   

Eli S. McCarthy, Ph.D. 
Director, Justice and Peace 
Conference of Major Superiors of Men 
Silver Spring, MD   

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, S.J. 
President 
Creighton University 
Omaha, NE   

Sr. Julie Kubasak Visitatrix 
Daughters of Charity, Province of the West 
Los Altos Hills, CA 

A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D. 
President 
DePaul University 
Chicago, IL 

Rachelle Reyes Wenger, MPA 
Director, Public Policy, and Community Advocacy 
Dignity Health 
Pasadena, CA   

Rev. Thomas J. Ascheman SVD 
President 
Divine Word College 
Epworth, IA   

Sister Mary Murray, OP 
President 
Dominican Congregation of Our Lady of the Rosary 
Sparkill, NY   

Sister Mary Brigid Clingman, OP 
Promoter of Justice 
Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids 
Grand Rapids, MI   

Sister Patricia Siemen, OP   
Prioress  
Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan
 Adrian, MI   

Patrice Werner, OP  
Prioress  Dominican 
Sisters of Caldwell   
Caldwell, NJ   

Lorelle Elcock, OP 
Prioress Dominican Sisters of Hope 
Ossining, NY 

Kelly Litt 
Justice Promoter 
Dominican Sisters of Peace 
Columbus, OH 

Sr. Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP 
Prioress General 
Dominican Sisters of Springfield Illinois 
Springfield, IL 

Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland 
President 
Donnelly College
Kansas City, KS   

Sister Janet Eisner, SND 
President 
Emmanuel College 
Boston, MA   

Mark R. Nemec, Ph.D. 
President, Professor of Politics 
Fairfield University 
Fairfield, CT   

Sr. Maryann Mueller 
JPIC coordinator 
Felician Sisters of North America Leadership Team
 Beaver Falls, PA 

Anne M. Prisco, Ph.D. 
President 
Felician University 
Lodi, NJ   

Patrick Carolan  
Executive Director   
Franciscan Action Network  
Washington, DC   

Joe Monahan, T.O.R. 
Director, JPIC 
Franciscan Friars, T.O.R. 
Loretto, PA   

Sister Ann Marie Hudzina 
General Minister 
Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph 
Hamburg, NY   

Sister Marilyn Trowbridge, SFP  
US Area Congregational Councilor  
Franciscan Sisters of the Poor    

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., Ph.D.   
President  
Fordham University  
Bronx, NY   

Dr. Keith Taylor, Ph.D. 
President 
Gannon University 
Erie, PA 

John J. DeGioia 
President 
Georgetown University 
Washington, DC   

Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D. 
President 
Georgian Court University 
Lakewood, NJ 

Fr. Neil Pezzulo 
1st Vice President 
Mr. Tom Navin 
Director, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation 
Glenmary Home Missioners 
Fairfield, OH   

Tomás Insua  
Executive Director  
Global Catholic Climate Movement  
Boston, MA   

Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil. 
President 
Gonzaga University 
Spokane, WA 

Sister Diane Bardol, GNSH
Social Justice Coordinator
The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart
Philadelphia, PA

Deanne H. D'Emilio, J.D.
President
Gwynedd Mercy University 
Gwynedd Valley, PA

Sister Maureen McGarrity, CSFN, Ph.D. 
President 
Holy Family University 
Philadelphia, PA 

Very Rev. Kevin Mullen, OFM 
Provincial Minister 
Holy Name Province 
New York, NY 

Sr. Rose Therese Nolta, SSpS 
Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, USA-JPIC 
Northfield, IL   

Christopher G. Kerr 
Executive Director 
Ignatian Solidarity Network  
University Heights, OH   

Mary Jane Herb, IHM, Ph.D. 
President 
Leadership Council IHM Sisters 
Monroe, MI 

Very Rev. Robert Campagna, OFM 
Provincial 
Immaculate Conception Province  
New York, NY 

Sister Judy Illig, IBVM 
United States Province Leader 
Institute of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary Wheaton, IL   

Rev. Jean-Denis Saint Felix  
Secretary, Office of Justice and Ecology  
Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States  
Washington, DC   

Kevin O'Brien, S.J. 
Dean 
Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University 
Santa Clara, CA   

Jeanne Colleran, Ph.D. 
Interim President 
John Carroll University 
University Heights, OH 

Dr. Colleen Hanycz 
President 
La Salle University 
Philadelphia, PA 

Linda M. LeMura, Ph.D. 
President 
Le Moyne College 
Syracuse, NY 

Teresa Maya, CCVI 
President, Leadership Conference of Women Religious 
Congregational Leader, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
Silver Spring, MD   

David J. Livingston Ph.D. 
President 
Lewis University 
Romeoville, IL   

James E. Collins 
President 
Loras College 
Dubuque, IA   

Mary Ann Gawelek 
President 
Lourdes University 
Sylvania, OH   

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.   
President  
Loyola Marymount University 
Los Angeles, CA   

 Dr. Jo Ann Rooney 
President 
Loyola University Chicago 
Chicago, IL     

Brian F. Linnane, S.J., Ph.D.   
President  
Loyola University Maryland  
Baltimore, MD 

Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J. 
President  
Loyola University New Orleans  
New Orleans, LA 

 Michael A. Grandillo, Ph.D.               
President               
Madonna University               
Livonia, Michigan


Brennan O'Donnell 
President 
Manhattan College 
Riverdale, NY   

Fr. Martin Solma SM, Provincial 
Bro. Joseph Kamis SM, Assistant Provincial 
The Marianist Province of the United States 
St. Louis, MO 

Sr. Gretchen Trautman FMI, Provincial 
Sr. Leanne Jablonski FMI, Councilor 
Sr. Laura Leming FMI, Councilor 
Sr. Nicole Trahan FMI, Councilor 
The Marianist Sisters of the US Province 
San Antonio, TX; Dayton, OH

Michael R. Lovell 
President 
Marquette University 
Milwaukee, WI   

Gerry Lee   
Director  
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns  
Washington, DC 

Matthew Shank 
President 
Marymount University 
Arlington, VA 

Patricia A. Lowery, MMS, MD 
Coordinator for Health and IntraSociety Collaboration 
Medical Mission Sisters 
Philadelphia, PA 

Arturo Chávez, Ph.D. 
President and CEO 
The Mexican American Catholic College 
San Antonio, TX   

Laurie M. Hamen J.D. 
President 
Mount Mercy University 
Cedar Rapids, IA  

H. James Williams, Ph.D. 
President 
Mount Saint Joseph University 
Cincinnati, OH 

Timothy E Trainor, Ph.D. 
President 
Mount Saint Mary’s University 
Emmitsburg, MD   

Maribeth Stewart-Blogoslawski  
President  
National Council of Catholic Women  
Arlington, VA   

Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, JD 
Executive Director 
NETWORK Lobby for Social Justice 
Washington, DC   

Judith Maxwell Greig, Ph.D. 
President 
Notre Dame de Namur University 
Belmont, CA   

Very Rev. Jack Clark Robinson, OFM 
Provincial 
Our Lady of Guadalupe Province  
Albuquerque, NM    

Diane E. Melby, Ed.D. 
President 
Our Lady of the Lake University 
San Antonio, TX 

Mary Jo Nelson, OLVM 
President 
Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters 
Huntington, IN   

Sr. Patricia Chappell   
Executive Director  
Pax Christi USA  
Washington, DC   

Sr Janice Klein, PBVM 
President 
Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Mother 
Aberdeen, SD   

Mark Peters 
Director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation 
Priests of the Sacred Heart, US Province 
Hales Corners, WI 

Richard E. Beam 
Chief Environmental Officer 
Providence St. Joseph Health 
Seattle, WA 

Rev. John P. Fitzgibbons, S.J. 
President 
Regis University 
Denver, CO   

Rev. Thomas Curran, S.J. 
President 
Rockhurst University 
Kansas City, MO   

Sharon Latchaw Hirsh, Ph.D. 
President 
Rosemont College 
Rosemont, PA       

Very Rev. Thomas Nairn, OFM 
Provincial 
Sacred Heart Province  
St. Louis, MO    

John J Petillo 
President 
Sacred Heart University 
Fairfield, CT   

Joan Lescinski, CSJ 
President 
Saint Ambrose University 
Davenport, IA   

Very Rev. James Gannon, OFM 
Provincial 
Assumption BVM Province   
Franklin, WI  

Very Rev. David Gaa, OFM 
Provincial 
Saint Barbara Province  
Oakland, CA     

Becky Roloff 
President 
Saint Catherine University 
St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN   

George E. Martin, Ph.D. 
President 
Saint Edward’s University 
Austin, TX   

Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D. 
President 
Saint John's University, NY 
Queens, NY   

Very Rev. Mark Soehner, OFM 
Provincial 
Saint John the Baptist Province 
Cincinnati, OH     

Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.  
President  
Saint Louis University 
St. Louis, MO    

Janice A. Cervelli
President
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN

James A. Donahue 
President 
Saint Mary's College of California 
Moraga, CA 

Brother William Mann, FSC 
President 
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota 
Winona, MN   

Brian J. Bruess, Ph.D. 
President 
Saint Norbert College 
De Pere, WI   

Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D. 
President 
Saint Peter’s University 
Jersey City, NJ   

Rev. Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale 
President 
Saint Thomas University 
Chair of the Board Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities 
Miami Gardens, FL   

Michael E. Engh, S.J. 
President 
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA   

Sister Charmaine Krohe, SSND   
Provincial  
School Sisters of Notre Dame, Atlantic-Midwest Province 

Rev. Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.
 President 
Seattle University 
Seattle, WA 

Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D. 
Interim President 
Seton Hall University 
South Orange, NJ   

Mary Albert, OP 
President 
Siena Heights University 
Adrian, MI   

Sister Jane Iannucelli, SC 
Sisters of Charity 
Bronx, NY   

LaDonna Manternach, BVM 
Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
Dubuque, IA 

Mary Elizabeth Miller, SCN, 
President 
Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province 
Nazareth, KY   

Sr. Toby Lardie, HM 
Pastoral Leader 
Sisters of the Humility of Mary                      
Pulaski, PA   

Patricia McDermott, RSM
Judith Frikker, RSM
Patricia Flynn, RSM
Anne Marie Miller, RSM
Aine O'Connor, RSM
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas' Institute Leadership Team 
Silver Spring, MD   

Laura Reicks, RSM 
Susan Sanders, RSM 
Margaret Mary Hinz, RSM 
Maria Klosowski, RSM 
Karen Donahue, RSM 
Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community 
Omaha, NE   

Sister Janice Bader, C.PP.S.
President
Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of O'Fallon, MO
O'Fallon, MO

Sr. Michaela Connolly, OP 
Prioress 
Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt 
Blauvelt, NY   

S. Maryann McMahon, OP 
President 
Sisters of Saint Dominic 
Racine, WI   

Janice Cebula, OSF 
President 
Sisters of Saint Francis 
Clinton, IA 

Sr. Marie Cigrand 
Vice President 
Sisters of St. Francis 
Dubuque, IA 

Sister Edith Wyss, OSF
Provincial Minister
Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity
Stella Niagara, NY

Sister M. Kathryn Dougherty, O.S.F. 
Congregational Minister 
Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia  
Aston, PA 

Kate O'Donnell, OSF 
East Coast Coordinator, JPIC
 Sisters of Saint Francis 
Philadelphia, PA   

Sr. Mary Pellegrino, CSJ 
Congregational Moderator 
Sisters of Saint Joseph 
Baden, PA   

Rosemary Brennan, CSJ 
President 
Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston 
Brighton, MA 

Sister Eileen Marnien SSJ 
Vice President 
Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill 
Philadelphia, PA 

Sister Jean Rosemary Noski 
President 
Sisters of Saint Joseph of Concordia 
Concordia, KS    

 Sr. Louise Ann Micek 
Program Assistant 
Sisters of Saint Joseph of Orange 
Orange, CA   

Sr. Judith Carroll 
Provincial 
Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur (Eastern Province) 
Buffalo, NY   

Sister Veronique Wiedower CSC 
President 
Sisters of the Holy Cross 
South Bend, IN   

Sr. Patricia Anastasio 
President 
Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
New Windsor, NY   

Julianne Brockamp, PBVM 
President 
Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
Dubuque, IA   

Rev. Joseph Rodrigues SDS 
Society of the Divine Savior, USA Province 
Milwaukee, WI 

Sr. Sheila Hammond 
Provincial 
Society of the Sacred Heart, United States-Canada Province 
St. Louis, MO   

Christopher P. Puto, Ph.D.  
President  
Spring Hill College  
Mobile, AL 

Richard J. Gilfillan, M.D. 
Chief Executive Officer 
Trinity Health 
Livonia, MI 

Patricia McGuire 
President 
Trinity Washington University 
Washington, DC 

Eric F. Spina 
President 
University of Dayton 
Dayton, OH 

Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. 
President 
University of Detroit Mercy 
Detroit, MI 

Thomas M. Evans, Ph.D. 
President 
University of the Incarnate Word 
San Antonio, TX   

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. 
President 
University of Notre Dame
 Notre Dame, IN   

Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D. 
President 
University of St. Francis 
Joliet, IL   

Julie H. Sullivan 
President 
University of Saint Thomas, MN 
St. Paul, MN   

Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., Ph.D.   
President  
University of San Francisco 
 San Francisco, CA 

Sr. Susan Durkin, OSU
President
Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland
Pepper Pike, OH

Sr. Beatrice Hernandez, OSF 
Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Coordinator 
Wheaton Franciscans 
Wheaton, IL 

Michael J. Graham, S.J., Ph.D.  
President  
Xavier University  
Cincinnati, OH   

Reynold Verret, Ph.D.
 President 
Xavier University of Louisiana 
New Orleans, LA   

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D.  
President  
Villanova University  
Villanova, PA