June 22, 2015
Pope Francis’ New Encyclical, Laudato Si’
“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord.” These are the words that open Pope Francis’
encyclical on ecology and care for God’s creation. These words, quoting St. Francis of Assisi’s beautiful
canticle, remind us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful
mother who opens her arms to embrace us.
Pope Francis addresses Laudato Si’ to “every person on the planet,” for we all share a common home—the earth. He focuses on a number of important themes.
- A Moral and Spiritual Challenge. The ecological crisis, Pope Francis writes, is a summons to profound
interior conversion—to renew our relationships with God, one another, and the created world.
- Care for God’s Creation. God created the world and entrusted it to us as a gift. Now we have the
responsibility to care for and protect it and all people, who are part of creation. Protecting human
dignity is strongly linked to care for creation.
- We are All Connected. We are connected to the rest of the human family, to the created world, and
to those who will come after us in future generations.
- Impact on the Poor. People in poverty have contributed least to climate change, yet they are
disproportionately impacted by it. As a result of excessive use of natural resource by wealthy nations,
those who are poor experience pollution, lack of access to clean water, hunger, and more.
- Called to Solidarity. We are one human family and have a shared responsibility for others and for
creation. Wealthy countries have a responsibility to reduce consumption of non-renewal resources
and should help poorer nations develop in sustainable ways.
- Technological and economic development must serve human beings and enhance human dignity,
instead of creating an economy of exclusion, so that all people have access to what is needed for
authentic human development.
- Supporting Life, Protecting Creation. Concern for nature is incompatible with failure to protect
vulnerable human beings, such as unborn children, people with disabilities, or victims of human
- A Time to Act. Pope Francis calls for a change in lifestyle and consumption. We can make important
changes as individuals, families, and communities, and as civil and political leaders.
- Hope and Joy. “Injustice is not invincible” (no. 74) and we act knowing that we seek to live out God’s
vision of renewed relationships with God, ourselves, one another, and creation.
|Resources on Pope Francis’ New Encyclical, Laudato Si’
Some additional helpful resources include:
|Vatican’s Eco-Encyclical Video
The Vatican released a video explaining Pope Francis’ new encyclical on ecology.
St. Joseph Sisters: “We are the Dust of the Earth”
The Sisters of St. Joseph tend to their organic self sustaining garden along with their beehive, goats, chickens and rabbits. They know a lack of environmental awareness harms the poor and hope to inspire more conscious consumption in city dwellers and pass on an awareness to the next generation.