One of Pope Francis’s top advisors challenged the Catholic community at Notre Dame and beyond to care for all those across the world affected by environmental degradation.
Archbishop Benardito Auza, the Papal Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said the Catholic world should cultivate empathy for those that suffer acutely from climate change and the economic systems that create environmental damage Sunday night during the keynote address of a Mendoza College of Business conference titled “A Global Compact for Sustainable Development: Advancing Care for Our Common Home.”
“Pope Francis shows us that the bond between concern for nature, concern for the poor and the commitment to the betterment of society … are all together inseparable,” Auza said.
Keeping with the conference’s focus on Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, the archbishop began by highlighting the strengths of the pope, the accomplishments of his papacy and his influence in the world.
“We have seen a pope who has already visited 21 countries … from war-torn Central African Republic to the United States, from Cuba to the Philippines, from South Korea to Mexico,” Auza said.
With this international influence, the pope has also been active in international institutions, he said, highlighting the pope’s attendance in Europe and at a joint session of the U.S. Congress as examples.
The strength of Francis’s words and actions have influenced people to act and have contributed to the pope’s status as the most popular world leader, Auza said. He said Francis has been instrumental in building bridges amongst people.
“In all his words and examples and gestures, I see one golden thread. … [It’s] a unifying inspiration that has overarching implications not only for the spiritual and pastoral activity of the Church but also for the primary socioeconomic and political concerns of our time,” said Auza.