Today, Pope Francis arrives to the United States with a climate change message for all to hear. No one knows exactly what his message will be, and this is the first time in history that a pope will address Congress, as E&E Publishing reports below. While health care professsionals do not all agree on matters of faith, nor do they all practice a religion, one thing that ties the health sector together with the faith sector is that we both aim to protect humankind. In the encyclical, the pope outlined his strong moral concern for matters pertaining to climate change, and is redefining the Catholic political narrative on the subject. Simultaneously, health professionals are coming together to address climate issues through collaborative events such as the Climate Health Summit, which took place this week. Just as the hippocratic oath asks us to uphold specific ethnical standards, we have a moral obligation to work toward climate solutions, particularly since it poses one of the greatest health threats of our time. You can become more active by getting involved with Climate for Health.
By Malavika Vyawahar I September 18, 2015
Pope Francis, the 266th pope and the leader of more than 1 billion Catholics across the world, will begin a six-day visit to the United States on Tuesday, which will include a historic address to Congress, the first time in the history of the country that a pope will address lawmakers.
His visit to the world's most powerful nation is likely to be a time of reckoning. Francis in his papacy has displayed a keenness to engage with the most important issues of the day, from immigration to climate change, and his visit will be closely watched in the United States and around the world.
"The pope is coming as a pastor to the American Catholic Church. He is also coming as a prophet," Thomas Reese, a priest and commentator for National Catholic Reporter, noted at a recent conference. "What a prophet does is comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
While no one, not the leaders of the American Catholic Church nor the White House, is certain exactly what the pope will have to say, his itinerary is testament to his intention of doing exactly that. During his U.S. trip, the pope will have the ears of the powerful -- be they members of Congress at the joint session Wednesday or world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly, which he will address Thursday. "He comes to speak truth to power" is how one commentator described Francis' mission. His next stop after the unprecedented Congress joint session: a meeting with the homeless. Also on the agenda of the Argentinian pope, himself a son of migrants, is meeting with migrant families in the United States.
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