BY ISN STAFF | June 19, 2018

Jesuit institutions and organizations, including the Ignatian Solidarity Network, and other Ignatian network members, have joined nearly 600 U.S. Catholic institutions in signing the Catholic Climate Declaration, affirming the Paris Agreement and supporting actions to meet its goals. Signatories include dioceses, communities of men and women religious, health care systems, universities, parishes, and schools.

The Declaration responds to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Agreement, is in solidarity with the U.S. bishops’ position, and is consistent with the calls for climate action from Pope Francis and his predecessors, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II. The Declaration was organized by Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC), a Washington, D.C.-based organization that partners with seventeen national Catholic institutions including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Declaration also joins the wider We Are Still In campaign organized a year ago.

“We recognize that the Catholic Church calls for local action and systematic advocacy to reform systems and structures,” shared Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, S.J., president of Creighton University. “In this tradition, The Jesuit order calls its universities, in particular, to work for justice by taking prophetic public positions on social issues and public policy.”

“We affirm the Catholic teaching that climate change is an urgent moral issue that threatens both human life and dignity, unjustly burdens the poor, and damages our common home,” he continued.

Since signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Agreement in 2010, Creighton University has reduced greenhouse emissions from purchased electricity by 25%, has installed solar and wind collection systems, established a sustainabilities studies program, and incorporated ecological sustainability throughout its new 10-year strategic plan.

“I have certainly seen at Creighton University our young people galvanized in a very meaningful way with [Laudato Si’],” said Fr. Henrickson. “This has created a new conversation and a way for our students, faculty, and staff to step forward and keep embracing this very important issue.”

Dan Misleh, Catholic Climate Covenant executive director, said: “Laudato Si’ was a high-water mark for the Church’s decades-long engagement in the climate issue. This Declaration builds on a flurry of action this past year and helps to consolidate and expand on the numerous activities already happening in the U.S. Catholic community.”

Even while the signatories noted that progress on climate change has been imperiled by President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, Sister Sharlet Wagner, CSC, the president-elect of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), said, “Climate change is not a political issue but a moral issue. God’s creation is in peril by our own actions. Yet we know it is a gift for us to enjoy, safeguard, and protect for future generations.”

Throughout the summer and leading up to the Global Climate Action Summit in September, the Covenant will gather commitments from signers to the Declaration and share those during the event.

Ignatian Solidarity Network Member Signatories: 

Colleges and Universities:

Canisius College
College of the Holy Cross
Creighton University
Fairfield University
Fordham University
Georgetown University
Gonzaga University
John Carroll University
Le Moyne College
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Maryland
Loyola University New Orleans
Regis University
Rockhurst University
Saint Louis University
Saint Peter’s University
Santa Clara University
Seattle University
Spring Hill College
University of Scranton
University of Detroit Mercy
University of San Francisco
Villanova University*
Xavier University

High schools:

Cheverus High School
Creighton Preparatory School
Fordham Preparatory School
De La Salle High School*
Loyola Academy
Marquette University High School
Walsh Jesuit High School
Xavier High School

Parishes:

Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola (NYC)
Church of the Gesu (OH)
Saint Alphonsus Rodriguez Church
Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish (MA)
Saint Ignatius Loyola Parish (CA)

Other Jesuit Network Signatories: 

Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
Ignatian Solidarity Network
Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
Jesuit Social Research Institute Loyola University New Orleans
Jesuits of the US Central and Southern Province
Jesuits USA West Province
Kino Border Initiative
Loyola Press
Marquette University Center for Peacemaking
Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus
USA Midwest Jesuits
USA Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus

*non-Jesuit ISN member institution
[Please see signatory list for a complete listing of participating Jesuit communities and student organizations and non-ISN member Jesuit schools and parishes]

1 reply
  1. Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Working for justice by taking prophetic public positions on social issues and public policy is the way forward.

    Reply

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