Press Release: Interfaith Leaders Sign Letter of support for Papal Encyclical, Laudato Si
Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Contacts: Sr. Joan Brown, osf, Executive Director NM Interfaith Power and Light
Rev. Donna McNiel, Executive Director NM Conference of Churches
A letter supporting the Papal Encyclical, Laudato Si that is signed by some 100 New Mexican Interfaith Religious Leaders was released Tuesday, July 28, 2015 by New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light and the New Mexico Conference of Churches.
The letter was presented at a press conference attended by multi-faith leaders including Rev. Dr. Donna McNiel, New Mexico Conference of Churches; Allen Sanchez, Catholic Conference of Bishops; Sr. Joan Brown,osf, New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light; Necip Orhan, New Mexico Representative, Dialogue Institute of the Southwest; Rabbi Min Kantorwitz, Jewish Leader; Msgr. J. Voorhies, Ecumenical Ministry; and Donna Illerbrun, Principal of St. Therese School.
In part the letter reads: “As the undersigned faith leaders we work with our religious communities and our civic leaders to understand the meaning of Laudato Si/ Praised Be!…As faith leaders we support the Clean Power Plan and initiatives like the Green Climate Fund which will assist brothers and sisters suffering most from the effects of climate change.”
Sr. Brown, Executive Director of New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light said “Support and enthusiasm for Pope Francis’ call to address environmental degradation, climate change and related realities of economic disparity and poverty are palpable across New Mexico. People are feeling impelled to new actions small and large.”
Executive Director of the New Mexico Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishop’s, Allen Sanchez noted, “Our Holy Father Pope Francis is calling us to make part of our spirituality a value for God’s creation. Spirituality is the deliberate discernment of ethical values that are concretized into attitudes that govern our actions. This value of stewardship is not just Catholic but can be universal for all members of our common home, Sister Mother Earth. We can began this journey together by entering a conversation about values which embraces stewardship of earth. These discussions should include the situation of the poor and the resources gifted to all on earth.”
“Pope Francis reminds us all, Christians, people of faith, human beings on the planet, of our central purpose.” Dr. McNiel stated, “We have been made to be care takers – of one another, and of the planet – not consumers. This reminder could not come at a more timely moment.”
Signatures will continue to be gathered on the Interfaith Leader Letter. The letter will be shared with civic leaders in the state along with an invitation to read the encyclical and consider the moral and ethical teachings as decisions affecting the common good, water, air, climate, land and communities are made within the state.