University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

News Journal: As pope arrives, Del. religious leaders target climate change

A multifaith group in Wilmington on Wednesday convened the first of two vigils focused on climate change and what participants said is a public moral duty to address the causes of global warming and its dangers. Delaware Interfaith Power, one of 40 such state groups nationwide, organized the sessions outside First & Central Presbyterian Church near Rodney Square. Organizers said the event was timed to coincide with Pope Francis’s arrival in the United States, and with Yom Kippur, a time when members of the Jewish faith fast and seek forgiveness.

The pope is expected to address Congress on climate change during his visit, which closely follows his release of a papal encyclical, or long letter, on global warming. The encyclical focused on climate change as a threat to life globally and a likely source of suffering that will fall more heavily on the poor and disadvantaged.

“That is the specific reason we’re here – to send a message to Congress to listen to what [the pope] has to say,” said Lisa Locke, executive director of Interfaith Power in Delaware. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to get people’s attention.”

Among the speakers Wednesday were local leaders of Christian, Islamic, Jewish and Buddhist faiths.