Local church supports Pope Francis’s encyclical

Pope Francis (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — Pope Francis released his papal encyclical to his more than 1 billion Catholic followers Thursday, calling for big changes in politics, the economy, and action on climate change.

The pastor at St. Mary Star of the Sea in New London preached about climate change just last week. Father Robert Washabaugh will continue to spread the message in his sermons over the next several weeks.

RELATED STORY: Congressional Republicans Shrug off Pope’s Climate Message

Pope Francis calls for a bold cultural revolution to correct what he describes as a “perverse” economic system where the rich exploit the poor and turn the world into what he called an “immense pile of filth.” He blames global warming on an unfair industrial model based on fossil fuels and says it harms the poor the most. The New London church believes change could come one parishioner at time.

“The amount they drive, their habits, recycling, all those things that people can do, and when they start to do it they realize that’s not enough and they become advocates for the larger system to make the change,” said Father Washabaugh. “It’s got to be that kind of pressure where people who make the change themselves become the advoctates for larger change.”

He points out the only nation to pay a carbon tax on emmissions is Vatican City. That money most likely goes into a fund to fight global warming.

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