Louisiana environmental and religeous groups are using Pope Francis' visit to the United States and his outspoken position on climate change to call out some state politicians.
in a news release issued Thursday (Sept. 24), the coalition made up of environmental and religious groups said elected officials in a state known for oil and gas industry need to show better leadership on environmental issues.
The groups included: Pax Christi, a Catholic movement focused on world peace and social justice; Louisiana Bucket Brigade; the Commission on Stewardship of the Environment, a project of the Louisiana Interchurch Alliance; and the Alliance for Affordable Energy.
The groups singled out U.S. Sen. David Vitter and Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle. In addition to being Republican gubernatorial candidates, the release noted that both are Catholic. U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Metairie, also a Catholic and climate change skeptic, was also named.
The release described them as "leading climate deniers and protectors of polluting industry."
Pope Francis has raised some eyebrows since taking the helm of the Catholic church, whose members number more than a billion worldwide, for his advocacy on environmental and social justice causes.
In May, he issued an encyclical called Laudato Si, or Be Praised. The massive document called for "ecological conversion" of the faithful "whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them."
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who is also Catholic, has been stumping for the pope's environmental agenda this week in New York, where the pope is due Friday to deliver a speech to the United Nations General Assembly.
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