"It seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation," Francis said.

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

President Obama welcomed Pope Francis to the White House Wednesday morning to loud cheers from thousands gathered to greet the leader of the Catholic church—in a city that has virtually shut down for the historic event. The ceremony marks the first time that Pope Francis has visited the United States and kicks off a much anticipated three-city tour that includes Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City.

During his first address in the United States, Francis pulled no punches when talking about one of the defining issues of his leadership, calling on Americans to protect our "common home" and act on climate change with a sense of urgency—a stance that many Republicans have criticized.

"It seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation," Francis said, in slow but forceful English.

"We know by faith that the Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home."

He is scheduled to speak before Congress on Thursday, where he is expected bring his climate agenda directly to lawmakers.

President Obama also took the opportunity to praise Francis's stance on climate change, telling the pope: "you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet—God's magnificent gift to us." Watch below:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    What Happens When a City Tries to End Traffic Deaths

    Several years into a ten-year “Vision Zero” target, some cities that took on a radical safety challenge are seeing traffic fatalities go up.

  2. photo: Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar
    Equity

    What a Trillion-Dollar Housing Pledge Looks Like

    Representative Ilhan Omar’s Homes for All Act would fund the construction of 12 million new homes in the U.S. over 10 years, mostly as public housing.  

  3. MapLab

    MapLab: Killer Apps

    A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

  4. Maps

    The Three Personalities of America, Mapped

    People in different regions of the U.S. have measurably different psychological profiles.

  5. Life

    Talent May Be Shifting Away From Superstar Cities

    According to a new analysis, places away from the coasts in the Sunbelt and West are pulling ahead when it comes to attracting talented workers.

×