The White House Is Looking For A Few Green Priests

Ahead of Catholic encyclical on climate change, White House plots energy-faith summit.

Is your priest or rabbi giving sermons about climate change? The White House would like to know.

The White House in July will honor faith leaders who are working on climate change and other conservation issues in their communities. Officials this week put out calls for nominations from the community for clergy members, faith group organizers, and lay leaders who have connected with faith groups on climate change.

"President Obama believes in the power of individuals to make a difference on these issues," the White House said on a website accepting nominations. "He also knows the faith community has a powerful role in leading climate change efforts."

The conference comes amid what's expected to be an active summer for faith groups on climate change. On June 18, Pope Francis will release an encyclical on climate change, one of the highest forms of a papal statement. The document is hotly anticipated among the environmental and faith community, as it's expected to make a moral case for climate change.

Catholic groups are planning to use the document to press Catholic politicians to take a stand on climate change, and other faith groups from different religions say they're planning similar outreach.

The White House has also conducted outreach to the Vatican and Catholic groups at home to discuss climate change; EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy traveled to Rome earlier this year to discuss the church's climate work.