As U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to name his new ambassador to the Holy See, policy experts have encouraged the next Vatican ambassador to work closely with the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
San Diego's Bishop Robert McElroy, who was recently appointed by Pope Francis as one of five American board members to that Vatican office, says he "absolutely" agrees with that advice and believes one initial and significant area of potential collaboration would be vaccine distribution.
Equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has been a "tremendous concern" on the part of the dicastery, he noted, which is working with the scientific and medical communities to ensure that vaccine access is not limited to wealthy nations.
"That's an area which our country has to face," he told NCR. "Are we going to be vaccine hoarders? Or are we going to be like the good Samaritan in Fratelli Tutti who reaches out and really tries to even sacrifice ourselves?"
- As President Joe Biden searches for his new Vatican diplomat, experts say the world's smallest state and one of the world's last superpowers are well-situated to have a relationship marked by collaboration, rather than contention.
President Joe Biden's first Earth Day summit, which included an appearance by Pope Francis, got high marks, writes NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters.
"Substantively, the policy changes Biden announced struck exactly the right balance in trying to pivot the U.S. toward reductions in fossil fuel emissions and converting the economy to sustainable energy sources," Winters writes. "Just so, it angered politicians and especially activists on both the right and the left, usually a telltale sign that the correct path has been charted."
The most significant change that Biden announced, Winters says, was the doubling of the emissions' reduction goal to 50-52% by 2030. The White House outlined some investments to make the reduction possible, emphasizing the potential for job creation.
Winters says that critics will no doubt complain about the price tag of such investments, but Biden will be able to counter by asking if the critics are opposed to creating new jobs.
"That is more politically persuasive than arguing about the need to achieve difficult-to-understand climate goals far in the future," Winters writes. "Biden's list consists of all blue-collar jobs, a not-too-subtle rebuttal to the GOP claim that they are the true representatives of the working class."
- In twin Earth Day messages, Pope Francis warned a gathering of world leaders and the global community at large that "we are at the edge" with climate change, and the time to take action is now.
- NCR executive editor Heidi Schlumpf writes
that the health of the population as a whole is akin to the idea of the
common good, something Catholics should consider when deciding whether
or not to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
- At Global Sisters Report, sisters talk about how they care for our common home by farming in the Philippines, working in biodiversity in New Zealand and gardening for the cycle of life.