Nuns Aim to Stop Financing of Fossil Fuel Development on Indigenous Lands

"Faith-based climate advocates’ transparency efforts are more than a “Hail Mary.”"

"Sister Susan Francois didn’t expect to get emotional discussing her congregation’s shareholder resolution at Citibank last week, but as she spoke to a room full of supporters about the role of the Catholic Church in Western colonization, tears sprang to her eyes.

“As a Catholic sister, I feel a particular responsibility to listen to the voices of Indigenous people because of my church’s impact,” Francois said at the People vs. Citi environmental justice hearing on Earth Day.  

Francois referenced Pope Francis’ 2023 disavowal of the “doctrine of discovery,” the historical legal justification for Christian colonization. “A renewed dialogue with Indigenous peoples, in particular regarding their sufferings, past and present, due to the expropriation of their lands as well as forced assimilation, constitute a powerful summons to abandon the colonizer mentality and to walk with them side by side, in mutual respect and dialogue,” she said.

A Catholic nun, Francois is the treasurer for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, a small congregation of New Jersey nuns who have spent the last three years pushing Citigroup to issue a report outlining the effectiveness of its policies and practices in respecting Indigenous peoples’ rights, as determined by international human rights standards."

Keerti Gopal reports for Inside Climate News May 6, 2024.

Source: Inside Climate News, 05/08/2024