Letter to president leads to close encounter with pope

Pope Francis addresses a crowd gathered on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Ryan Currens, who works for Church of the Assumption in Richfield, got an invitation from the White House to see the pope in Washington, D.C., after writing to President Barack Obama and other leaders, urging them to take the pope’s treatise on climate change to heart. (Submitted photo)

Pope Francis addresses a crowd gathered on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Ryan Currens, who works for Church of the Assumption in Richfield, got an invitation from the White House to see the pope in Washington, D.C., after writing to President Barack Obama and other leaders, urging them to take the pope’s treatise on climate change to heart. (Submitted photo)

Ryan Currens thought his letter to the White House would just be tallied along with the rest of them. Instead, it resulted in an invitation to see Pope Francis at the nation’s Capitol.

Currens, the business administrator at Church of the Assumption in Richfield, was inspired to promote the importance of Pope Francis’ recently issued treatise urging the world’s leaders to take action on climate change.

“With three kids, it’s kind of on my mind of what we are leaving them,” said Currens, whose children are between the ages of 6 months and 3 and a half.

So, the Burnsville resident submitted his note via online comment boxes, urging President Barack Obama – along with Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Rep. John Kline – to take the pope’s 192-page paper, called an encyclical, to heart. He figured it would wind up in an in-box somewhere, with his opinion tallied.

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