BY CHRIS KERR | June 15, 2015
In our age of social media and viral video, one can’t be surprised by Observatório do Clima’s mock-trailer illustrating Pope Francis as a karate chopping, enemy fighting, superhero preparing to release an encyclical to fight evil environmental doers. It’s fun! And based on how Pope Francis rolls, I have no doubt that he will take on detractors with quips that hit like karate chops.
However, we need more than a Superhero Pope. This is one of those times where a “team of one,” even when that one is a Pope, won’t cut it. I think the person who knows this best is Pope Francis. What we will see on Thursday is not an attempt to win the “fight” (as the trailer depicts it) on his own, but instead, an invitation to us all to be part of the struggle. An invitation to respond to a grave reality we have collectively created for our home, to solidarity with our brothers and sisters, to a deeper relationship with God. I am excited for the potential of this invitation, for the potential of our Church, and for the potential of our global community. This potential will rise as each of us responds to Francis’s invitation to be people of solidarity “caring for our home.”
Chris joined the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN) as executive director in 2011. He has over fifteen years of experience in social justice advocacy and leadership in Catholic education and ministry. Prior to ISN he served in multiple roles at John Carroll University, including coordinating international immersion experience and social justice education programming as an inaugural co-director of John Carroll’s Arrupe Scholars Program for Social Action. Prior to his time at John Carroll he served as a teacher and administrator at the elementary and secondary levels in Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Chris speaks regularly at campuses and parishes about social justice education and advocacy, Jesuit mission, and a broad range of social justice issues. He currently serves on the board of directors for Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ). Chris earned a B.A. and M.A. from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. He and his family reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.