09.24.15

Sen. Whitehouse Statement on Pope’s Address to Congress

Washington, DC – Today Pope Francis delivered an address to a joint session of Congress – the first Pope in history to do so.  U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) attended the address and released the following statement:

“From combating climate change to rooting out economic and social injustice, Pope Francis today called on all of us to address the major issues facing our ‘common home.’  In giving voice to the moral urgency of caring for God’s creation, His Holiness cut through the barricade of spin and propaganda that has long surrounded Congress on climate change to deliver a message that many of us badly needed to hear: climate change is real and we cannot wait any longer to act.  I hope that some of my colleagues, having heard the case made today and yesterday with moral clarity and without political distortion, will reconsider their positions on the issue and commit to working toward a common solution.  I thank Pope Francis for his generous spirit and his heartfelt words. And, on behalf of all Rhode Islanders, I thank him for blessing our nation with his wisdom and prayers.”

Whitehouse represents the most heavily Catholic state in the country. His guest for today's speech was Sister Jane Gerety, President of Salve Regina University. The Senator also doled out nearly 200 tickets to Rhode Islanders to view the Pope's appearance on the West Front of the Capitol from the National Mall.

Earlier this week, Whitehouse honored the Pope's visit by devoting his weekly “Time to Wake Up” speech on climate change to “two of God’s humblest but most useful creatures… the bumblebee and the pteropod.”  The speech chronicled the importance these two creatures play in balancing our world’s environment and food chain, and the harm they are enduring as a result of climate change. You can watch the speech here and read it here.

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