Press Release: Franciscans Condemn President’s Executive Order Advancing the Dakota Access and Keystone Pipelines
January 25, 2017
Franciscans Condemn President’s Executive Order Advancing the Dakota Access and Keystone Pipelines
We will continue to Stand in Solidarity with Indigenous Brothers and Sisters and the Earth
Washington, D.C. – The Franciscan Action Network strongly condemns the actions of President Trump in issuing an executive order on both the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines. Allowing the plunder and destruction of God’s wondrous creation to support the greed of a few is morally, spiritually and ethically wrong and goes against the teachings of every major religious group. As Pope Francis said in October 2014, “An economic system centered on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.”
The indigenous peoples at the Dakota Access Pipeline Camp have reminded us, “Water is life!” “As people of faith charged with the Pope’s call in Laudato Si to protect the Earth and its people, we stand in solidarity with our indigenous brothers and sisters in proclaiming that ‘Water is Life’ and in firm opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said Patrick Carolan, executive director of the Franciscan Action Network. “It is not only a moral issue but an issue of religious freedom. Building a pipeline through indigenous people’s sacred land is a violation of their religious freedom just the same as if President Trump gave permission to tear down St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York to build an oil refinery on the site.”
Franciscan Spirituality began 800 years ago with St. Francis of Assisi’s belief that he was brother to every living being and every living thing in creation. Francis saw God in all of creation; in the birds and animals, in the plants and trees, in his fellow human beings, including the leper. In his Canticle of Creatures, St. Francis referred to the Earth as Sister Earth, Our Mother. To say that you believe in God and then treat the Earth and creation with disrespect and abuse is to disregard God. Another Franciscan, St. Bonaventure described the created universe as the fountain fullness of God’s expressed being. As God is expressed in creation, creation in turn expresses the Creator.
We call on President Trump to join the spiritual and moral crusade of St. Francis of Assisi to protect and not destroy all of God’s creation. We ask him to reinstitute the ban and reverse his executive orders allowing the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines to move forward.