Markey Praises Pope Francis’s ‘Sermon on the Hill’

Washington (September 24, 2015) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today attended the Joint Meeting of Congress Address by His Holiness Pope Francis and released the following statement. This is the first address by any pope to the United States Congress.

“Today, Congress and the American people heard Pope Francis share a message of opportunity and responsibility in his Sermon on the Hill. This ‘people’s Pope’, speaking from the people’s chamber, reminded us that no matter our faith, no matter our political party, we are all caretakers of creation. 


“Now more than ever, Congress and our entire nation need to hear Pope Francis’s message of compassion, inclusiveness, and justice. As individuals and political leaders, we need to join in the conversation that he is calling the world to engage in about protecting people and our planet. Pope Francis’s words today offer all people of conscience an opportunity to examine their own lives and their duty to take action to advance the common good.


“Pope Francis delivered a practical, yet powerful message: Mankind created this problem of climate change, and now mankind must fix it. With the world’s poorest and most vulnerable suffering the worst consequences of climate change – extreme poverty, famine, disease, displacement – we have a moral obligation to act. I agree with Pope Francis that the United States and the Congress have an important role to play.


“President Obama’s Clean Power Plan captures the urgency and opportunity needed to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. It will unleash a clean energy revolution in Massachusetts and around the country. And then we can then partner with other nations around the globe to share these solutions and protect the world’s most vulnerable. Science and technology can be the answer to our prayers.


“The challenges facing our nation and the entire world are indeed great. But the United States has the technological imperative to lead on solutions. We have the economic imperative to create opportunities and jobs for all people. And we have the moral imperative to protect our planet for future generations.


“Pope Francis said today that politics is about sacrificing particular interests in order to share justice and peace. Let’s work together in a bipartisan manner to heed the Pope’s message and forge the political will to act on the climate crisis and protect the most vulnerable. If we harness those qualities that have always defined American greatness – liberty, courage and the opportunity to dream and then achieve those dreams – and put them in service to address today’s great challenges, we can leave the world a better place than we found it.”