The Benedictine Sisters of Erie will continue to take action on Climate Change

June 2, 2017

As prioress I speak for the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. We are disheartened and concerned by the announcement of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, the global agreement to combat Climate Change.

Care for the earth has been integral to the Benedictine Charism since our very foundation in the 6th century. The Erie Benedictines have consciously and deliberately included this responsibility in our community’s Corporate Commitment and have taken significant steps. Both as community and as individuals, we have deepened our understanding and been intentional in our actions toward sustainable living.

Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si`, clearly lays out the crisis that our planet faces and calls all of us, all nations, all religions, all people, to a find a common solution to Climate Change. “Obstructionist attitudes, even on the part of believers, can range from denial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant resignation or blind confidence in technical solutions. We require a new and universal solidarity. . . . All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents (Laudato Si`, 14).”

The decision of President Trump is deeply disturbing but it strengthens the resolve of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie to be faithful to the responsibility we embraced when we signed the Paris Pledge in November of 2015. We believe that all of creation is sacred and to be reverenced; to this end we will continue to uphold our commitment to a 50% reduction of carbon pollution by 2030 and to become carbon neutral by 2050.

As individuals, as religious communities, as Church, we must increase our efforts to do what we can. We urge everyone to make his/her their own commitment to reduce carbon pollution through energy conservation, purchasing electricity from a “green provider,” and making use of renewable energy products and sources. If we expect nations to commit to significant energy policies, then we should do so ourselves, at home, in the workplace, in our churches, and in all the places that touch our lives. Now is the time to take decisive steps in our commitment to environmental sustainability. Now is the time to protect our common home. Now is the time to lead by example. “While the existing world order proves powerless to assume its responsibilities, local individuals and groups can make a real difference, (Laudato Si`, 179).”

Sister Anne Wambach, Prioress
Benedictine Sisters of Erie