Minneapolis mayor attends Vatican workshop on climate change, poverty

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) — After decades of world leaders trying to set global goals to address climate change and extreme poverty, city mayors gathered at the Vatican to pledge they will take real action and lead the fight on their streets.

Pope Francis told the mayors, including Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges, that they were important because they were at the “grass roots” and could make concrete changes and put pressure on leaders above them.

The pope spoke briefly off-the-cuff in Spanish July 21 after more than 60 mayors attended a daylong workshop on modern slavery and climate change, sponsored by the pontifical academies of sciences and social sciences in the Vatican’s synod hall.

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