A Message to Congress on the Day of Pope Francis’ Capitol Hill Address

Conservatives both on Capitol Hill and in the Vatican seem to want to conserve the status quo. We however applaud Pope Francis and his power to move humanity beyond the status quo.

We welcome the Pope’s words and his magnanimous spirit as he elevates and enlightens our consciousness and ignites our compassion for each other. Pope Francis teaches us to respect our home and treat each other with dignity, not only in this country but throughout the world. With heart, the Pope offers a moral analysis of our economy infused with the need for racial, social and environmental justice and dignity for all.

The Pope’s first encyclical, Laudato Si’ — 183 pages, 40,673 words that issues an urgent call to engage and inspire environmental, social and economic transformation. It deconstructs the hardened indifference that has walled off the reality of many, in favor of the comfort of the few. Our social and economic culture of discarding material waste, the poor, the elderly and factory-farmed animals need not be our legacy.

[Read more essays on Faith, by Deepak Chopra, Martha Beck, Pema Chodron and many more Architects of Change, as part of this special series]

The Laudato Si’ is considered by many to be one of the shrewdest documents of our time. Pope Francis released the encyclical to inspire change in advance of key United Nations’ gatherings on finance, sustainable development, and global warming and a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. Pope Francis’s Encyclical is .

I am proud to be a Knight of St Francis, Founder & CEO of Partnerships For Change® and collaborator on the strategic campaign to amplify the message of Pope Francis’s Encyclical. The Knights Of St Francis is an Archconfraternity association founded by Angela Alioto,Esq. in 2008 in San Francisco to serve and model the values and principles of St Francis of Assisi.

Thanks to the Knights of St Francis…the words of Pope Francis can be found all over Washington D.C. and New York on billboards, bus stops, in full page ads in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal as well as radio spots narrated by Morgan Freeman. The words of the Pope’s encyclical have reached our many neighbors, friends and citizens of the United States and elected leaders. Our campaign which has drawn over 24 million impressions was launched in July as a prelude to the Pope’s visit and will continue through COP21 in Paris in December. The meeting in Paris in December held by the United Nations’ Conference of Parties (COP21) will clearly benefit us and others in the world as we embrace this opportunity to do something about global warming, before it is too late.

[What makes a ‘Good Catholic’? Americans Weigh In]

The United States, which prides itself on scientific innovation, must support measures to stop global warming. The Pope’s affirmation that science is letting us know that the earth needs our compassion may shake off some of our indifference. Though some will say that the Pope has no place in advising us on scientific issues, he makes clear that moral actions with respect to our economy, our habits of consumption and scientific knowledge on climate change can be in harmony. Compassion and justice for each other and animals, rather than cruelty, is the way forward. The Encyclical speaks to the fact that doing good for ourselves and doing good for others is fully interwoven. His expression of urgency for action could very well help us finally reach the tipping point to arrest global warming.

From the golden rule to treat others as you would have them do unto you and the plain truths about the impact of our habits of eating meat and polluting the earth through our unconscious consumption – His words are softening our hearts to motivate and guide us to a safe future.

The Pope’s recent focus on compassion and mercy and what he is highlighting as the year of mercy is especially piercing for all of us.

[Watch Maria Shriver discuss Pope Francis, the “Rock Star Pope” on the Today Show]

His words deeply resonate as we as a country wrestle with racial and gender injustice, violence against women, cruel factory farming practices, immigration, corporate greed and “savage capitalism.” Pope Francis will help our country face up to our judgmental stridency, partisanship and ideology that strips dignity and impedes us from taking action and showing compassion.

The words of Pope Francis on mercy and compassion should shake us all to become agents of change; especially our leaders in Congress.

[Image via Pixabay]

About the Author

author image

Founder and CEO, Partnerships For Change®, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization based in San Francisco, a United Nations affiliated, nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating social, economic, environmental and personal transformation and community self-reliance. Best selling author and internationally recognized expert, consultant and speaker in the change management and self-esteem arenas. Ms. Miller has been featured on CNN, CBS Evening News, the Nightly Business Report, and many other media outlets. Recently, Ms. Miller’s Partnerships For Change sponsored several awarding winning documentaries that ignite advocacy and mobilize millions to take action. Documentaries include the Oscar-nominated Invisible War and the soon to be released, Who Pays The Price: The Human Cost of Electronics.Jacqueline Miller has been a Knight Of St. Francis since its inception in 2008. Reach her at: jackie@partnershipsforchange.com

Read more from Jacqueline Miller

Sign Up for MariaShriver.com's Weekly Must-Read

More Posts from Architects of Change