Pope Francis expected to share message of social justice and collective responsibility in historic address to Congress

“In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children, that there are so many children without an education, so many poor persons.”  – Pope Francis

Pope Francis will make history on Thursday when he becomes the first pope to address the U.S. Congress. Following his visit, legislators will resume budget negotiations in an attempt to avoid a scenario that, unfortunately, does have a precedent: a government shutdown

Since his election in 2013, Francis has emphasized compassion, justice, and human dignity, a message that has resonated with many as global inequality reaches an all-time high. His public appearances and meetings with world leaders have focused on collective responsibility and action to narrow the gap between rich and poor and care for those in need.

We have our work cut out for us. In the United States, more than 16 million children live in poverty and one in nine children lack access to adequate food.

With the federal budget under debate, the programs that are critical to the health, well-being, and opportunity of all children are at risk of being cut. If Congress fails to pass a budget that safeguards crucial federal funding, they will deny nutrition assistance, affordable housing, and early education opportunities to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable children and families.

“None of us can think we are exempt from concerns for the poor and for social justice.”  – Pope Francis

Congress should listen to Francis’ message on Thursday and protect the programs that lift children out of poverty.

We invite our supporters in Washington, D.C. to join climate justice activists, faith leaders, and tens of thousands of Americans for the ‘moral action on climate justice’ rally with Pope Francis. Find out more at http://www.earthday.org/climatejusticerally.html.