Pope Francis’ Sweeping Encyclical Calls for Swift Action to Protect God’s Creation
The world has become captivated by Pope Francis’ much-awaited encyclical,Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home, which is his appeal to dialogue between "every person living on this planet" to urgently address our environmental challenges to find the best care for “our common home.”
In this encyclical, the Pontiff offers a hopeful vision of renewal. He challenges us to remember that the problem is not the people on the planet, but an apathetic, “throwaway” culture that exploits and wastes resources—all in an often single-minded pursuit of profit.
Instead, the Pope calls on each of us to take concrete steps to better care for the gift of God’s creation, even if only through "simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness.”
The Pope emphasized how the Catholic Church has come to understand that the health of the global family is dependent on the health of its weakest members. Poor nations need to develop in order to reduce poverty, but it also the responsibility of wealthy nations to help them to follow a more sustainable path to economic development than the one that they took.
It with this emphasis on humanity’s connectedness and interdependence—both in the present and “with those who will come after us—that Pope Francis urges us to action. “We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it,” Pope Francis wrote.
This is what the Catholic understanding of solidarity is all about. “We live in a common home which God has entrusted to us,” said Francis. “We’re called to stand together with the poor and vulnerable."
QUOTES FROMLAUDATO SI’: ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME
"Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last 200 years.""We are not God. The Earth was here before us and was given to us.""The idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology … is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry at every limit.""Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.""Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.""Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society. It is clearly inconsistent to combat trafficking in endangered species while remaining completely indifferent to human trafficking, unconcerned about the poor, or undertaking to destroy another human being deemed unwanted."
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