Pelosi and Pope Francis meet amid push for action on climate change

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSen. Ron Johnson hoping for Democratic 'gridlock' on reconciliation package Virginia race looms as dark cloud over Biden's agenda  Biden struggles to rein in Saudi Arabia amid human rights concerns MORE (D-Calif.) and Pope FrancisPope FrancisReligion and the G-20: With faith, we can move mountains The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Jan. 6 panel flexes its muscle Biden to have audience with pope, attend G20 summit MORE met Saturday, the same day the pontiff gave a speech calling on lawmakers in countries around the world to act on climate change. 

His Holiness’s encyclical Laudato Si’ is a powerful challenge to the global community to act decisively on the climate crisis with special attention to the most vulnerable communities,” Pelosi, a practicing Catholic, said in a statement released Saturday.

“I expressed the gratitude of those working on climate action in the Congress for the immense moral clarity and urgency that His Holiness continues to bring to the climate crisis, and how we continue to cherish his address to the Joint Session of Congress in 2015,” she added.

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Francis on Saturday called for leaders to take action on climate change and put aside “narrow” partisan politics.

“To meet this challenge, everyone has a role to play,″ the pope said. ”That of political and government leaders is especially important, and indeed crucial.”

“This demanding change of direction will require great wisdom, foresight and concern for the common good: in a word, the fundamental virtues of good politics,″ he added. 

The speech comes ahead of a major United Nations climate conference in Scotland that is set to start at the end of October. 

Francis has been a vocal advocate of policies to combat climate change, and he and other religious leaders signed a climate appeal on Monday. 

“It was a spiritual, personal and official honor to have an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis this morning. His Holiness’s leadership is a source of joy and hope for Catholics and for all people, challenging each of us to be good stewards of God’s creation, to act on climate, to embrace the refugee, the immigrant and the poor, and to recognize the dignity and divinity in everyone,” Pelosi said.