As Pope Francis makes his way toward a Sept. 24 address to a joint session of Congress, more than 100 faith-based organizations hope he will also hear their early morning rally on the National Mall that seeks to amplify his urgent call to action on climate change and environmental degradation.
The rally, announced Tuesday, is a response to Francis’ encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home,” said the Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life, during a media call. Faith in Public Life is a strategy center that pursues social justice causes in legislation and the public square.
The faith groups, Butler said, are following the example of Francis by “bringing new alliances and breaking through the partisan divides that we all too often see on these kinds of issues.”
The rally, coordinated by Moral Action on Climate, will begin early Sept. 24, and will include performances and speakers from the climate justice community, as well as those from other perspectives in faith, science, labor and economic justice. Jumbotrons will broadcast the pope’s address to Congress, scheduled for 9:20 a.m., eastern.
The rally is part of a full week of activities promoting moral action for climate justice. On the eve of the pope’s speech, the Franciscan Action Network will lead an all-night multi-faith vigil at the Lincoln Memorial. A day after the address, Moral Action on Climate plans to lobby Congress to demonstrate leadership on this issue.
Notre Dame de Namur Sr. Patricia Chappell, executive director of Pax Christi USA, said on the teleconference that she found it particular fitting that the announcement was made Sept. 1, the day Francis has declared as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation…