(CNSNews.com) – During a welcoming ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, Pope Francis said “climate change is a problem” that can no longer be left to a future generation, and he praised President Barack Obama for introducing an initiative for reducing air pollution.
“Mr. President, I find it encouraging that you are introducing an initiative for reducing air pollution. Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem we can no longer be left to a future generation,” the pontiff said in English.
“When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history,” said Pope Francis, adding that there’s still time to make changes.
“Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition, not only of the kind of the world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them,” the pope said.
“To use a telling phrase of the Rev. Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on our promissory note and now is the time to honor it,” he said.
“We know by faith that the creator does not abandon us. He never forsakes,” the pope said, adding that as Christians, we must “commit ourselves to the conscious and responsible care of our common home.”
“Mr. President, the efforts which were recently made to mend broken relationships and to open new doors to cooperation within our human family represent positive steps along the path of reconciliation, justice, and freedom,” Pope Francis said.
“I would like all men and women of goodwill in this great nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate integral and inclusive models of development so that our brother and sisters everywhere may know the blessings of peace and prosperity with goodwill for all his children,” he added.