Speaker Emeritus Nancy Pelosi Addresses the Closing Plenary
Speaker Emeritus Nancy Pelosi addresses the Closing Plenary at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, USA. The Closing Plenary was sponsored by The Fetzer Institute.
Good afternoon. It is my special honor to bring warm greetings to the Parliament of the World’s Religions from the Congress of the United States. I want to say a special thank you to my friend, Congressman Bobby Rush, who for three decades offered a prayerful and powerful voice for justice in the House of Representatives.
While we surely miss his leadership in the Congress, we are proud that he continues his service to his Chicago community through his church. And allow me to commend you, all of the devoted faith leaders gathered for this meeting, to reaffirm your commitment to democracy, freedom, and human rights around the world.
We gather at a pivotal moment in world history as the battle wages between the forces of freedom and fascism, between liberty and tyranny. The fight for freedom in the world is the fight of our time, whether heroic Ukrainian forces repellent Russia’s unlawful aggression, brave pro-democracy advocates speaking out against Chinese Communist Party suppression, courageous women protesting against repression in Iran and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and so much more.
And here at home, freedom is under threat. Shamefully, there are those who pray in church on Sundays and prey on families the rest of the week, from rippling away health care and food assistance, to denying the sacred right to vote, to attacking Americans simply for whom they are and who they love. These challenges are a call to conscience for every person of faith.
Indeed, we believe that we all God’s children and we share a moral responsibility to protect the precious spark of divinity in every person. But as you know, it’s not enough to merely discuss these issues beyond closed doors. Faith and action aren’t separately intertwined. With democratic institutions and human rights under siege, we must all remain committed to using our voices and our votes to be the change we seek.
On a personal note, and proud to hail from the beautiful city of San Francisco, named for Saint Francis of Assisi. And we often often draw strength from his immortal words, “preach the gospel,” sometimes used words. As you return to your communities at the end of this session, may the words of Saint Francis inspire you too, as you continue your faithful service.
Best wishes for a prayerful meaningful and successful meeting. Thank you.