Blessed Tomorrow leader and President of National Latino Evangelical Coalition, Rev. Gabriel Salguero, was deeply moved by Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. In an open letter to the leader of the Catholic Church, Salguero expressed why his Evangelical Christian faith and Latino heritage align so greatly with Pope Francis' emphasis on environmental justice. Hard on the heels of the National Association of Evangelicals call to climate action, Salguero detailed his shared concern for the environment and how climate change impacts the world's most vulnerable.
For the Evangelical leader, and for many of us, climate change is personal. Salguero's wife and son both suffer from climate-related asthma, and the ruins of Hurricane Sandy are a daily reminder of why faith leaders must act for the climate today. Salguero's article, A Climate Change Letter from a Latino Evangelical to a Latino Pope, concisely articulates the compelling compulsion of faith leaders to move on climate action. Salguero contends, "Climate change is not simply an environmental issue, but a human one with a spiritual dimension."
Rev. Gabriel Salguero | Huffington Post
Dear Pope Francis,
¡Gracias por visitar a Nueva York! I eagerly anticipated your visit, not only because of your significant religious and global influence, but also because of our shared passion for environmental stewardship and justice. I especially was thankful for your courageous commentary on climate change and immigration.
In spite of our different denominations and theological differences, we do share some common ground. As Hispanic religious leaders (albeit on very different scales), we exist in a space that spans the spiritual and the material, religion and politics, the Global North and the Global South. We are therefore uniquely situated to bear witness to the threat that climate change poses, and the harm it has already caused.
I know you have traveled throughout developing countries and seen farmers turned to slum dwellers by years of drought, urbanites turned to refugees by sudden hurricanes or tsunamis. As a world leader, you are witness to people suffering on the margins of power while many in power remain on the sidelines as this issue stays mired in politics and abstractions. You live steeped in the rich history of the Catholic moral thought and are therefore keenly attuned to the shortfalls and opportunities of the present.