Thank you for being here with us, and for your interest in our appeal to the 3rd Circuit as we come from the oral arguments presented today here at the U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia. We begin this press conference with this quote:
“As women of faith, we Adorers promote, with intention and conviction, a consistent life ethic rooted in the Word of God in Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and in Catholic Social Teaching. In addition, our spirituality and mission as Adorers animates us to reverence the dignity of each person and all of creation as a manifestation of the Holy One who continually creates and sustains life and being. We embrace our commitment of being pro-life, in which life – all life, can flourish, as we address issues of inequality and injustice across a wide and complex spectrum of concerns.”
This quote is part of a Consistent Life Ethic statement that the Adorers across the United States are currently reviewing and reflecting upon in our ongoing efforts to discern what is ours to do to give expression to our religious beliefs, both individually and communally.
In 2018, despite clear and strenuous objections, Transco/Williams seized our farmland in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, constructed a high-volume export pipeline through our property and began transporting high volumes of climate warming fossil fuels. Transco/Williams, a private corporation worth $40 B has forced us to use our land in a way that directly violates not only our religious beliefs about the sacredness of Earth, but also our religious practice of faithfully stewarding our own land for future generations. Transco/Williams proceeded, fully aware that this places a substantial burden on our exercise of religion, in direct violation of the guarantees and protections afforded to us by the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA).
Every day, since October, 2018, when the pipeline construction was completed, and fossil fuel gas began flowing through our farmland in Lancaster County, Transco continues to add to the profits of its $40 B dollar corporation. Every day, since October, 2018, as fossil fuel gas flows through our farmland in Lancaster County, so also flows Transco’s blatant disregard and trampling of the Adorers’ religious beliefs.
We are impelled to stand up to the powers of profit and speak out of our convictions, which are rooted in the Word of God; informed by our Church in its Catholic Social Teachings; and the call of the Adorers’ Constitution, where we find these words: “We endeavor to become more aware…conscious that action in behalf of justice and charity is a basic dimension of the redeeming mission entrusted by Christ to his Church.”
“With hearts attentive to the life giving Gift of Jesus’ Precious Blood, we Adorers of the Blood of Christ encourage and call on all of God’s people to honor the gift of Creation and the dignity of every human person”…by joining us in calling on the panel of judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to allow the merits of our Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) case to be heard.”
The future of life on the planet is being threatened by corporate greed and the disrespect of persons committed to care of creation. The government needs to stand with the rights of people against corporations who use their wealth as power over the rights of others.