sábado, 26 de setembro de 2015
POPE FRANCIS BACKS OBAMA ON CLIMATE CHANGES / PAPA APOIA OBAMA NAS AÇÕES PELO CLIMA
Pope Francis has used his first visit to the US to push for action on climate change by backing President Barack Obama’s move to impose strict controls on carbon emissions in the power sector.
“Climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to future generations,” the Pope said in an address in English to the 11,000 people gathered on the south lawn of the White House. “When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history.”
Mr Obama and his wife Michelle welcomed the 78-year old Argentine pontiff — who set foot on US soil for the first time on Tuesday — on what is only the fourth time that a pope has visited the US.
“What a beautiful day the Lord has made! Holy Father, on behalf of Michelle and myself, welcome to the White House,” Mr Obama said after the national anthems of the Holy See and the US were played. “Our backyard is not typically this crowded — but the size and spirit of today’s gathering is just a small reflection of the deep devotion of some 70m American Catholics.”
Mr Obama told Francis that the excitement around his visit “must be attributed not only to your role as Pope, but to your unique qualities as a person”. He also thanked him for his instrumental role in putting the US and Cuba on a path to restoring normal relations after decades of hostility.
In calling for action on climate change to protect “our common home”, Pope Francis said he found it “encouraging” that Mr Obama was pushing “an initiative for reducing air pollution”. The plan has been fiercely opposed by US business groups and congressional Republicans. The Pope is likely to repeat the message when he speaks to Congress on Thursday morning.
The Pope also weighed into the 2016 presidential campaign by voicing his support for immigrants and the role they have played in the emergence of the US as a great power. “As the son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country which was largely built by such families,” he said.
His comments were a homage to the huge number of Hispanics in America, who are important for the future of the Catholic church in the US. But they were also an implicit criticism of Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, who has run an anti-immigrant campaign that has depicted Mexicans as murderers and rapists.
The Pope travelled from the airport to the Vatican’s diplomatic mission on Tuesday night in a small Fiat 500L, eschewing a large popemobile or SUV, further evidence of the personal modesty and staunch environmentalism with which he has approached the papacy since being elected in March 2013.
On the flight to the US, the Pope dismissed criticism that his views on climate change and against unfettered capitalism, which have triggered a boycott of his speech from one Arizona congressman, made him a leftist.
Francis said that to construe his positions as “a little to the left” was mistaken and his statements against economic imperialism and in favour of greater care of the environment had always been core to the Church’s “social teaching”.
In his White House speech, the Pope received loud applause when he cited Martin Luther King, the late civil rights leader, in his plea to protect the environment and that the earth “cries out to heaven” for help.
“We can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note and now is the time to honour it,” the Pope said in citing King.
The Pope’s support for Mr Obama’s emissions plan followed an introduction in which he made a forceful plea for the respect of religious freedom in the US. Many conservatives and Catholic bishops in the US feel that the Obama administration’s push for religious institutions to provide healthcare coverage for contraception violates that principle.