18 Jun Pope Francis’ new encyclical is about climate change — and much more
“Pope Francis’ just-released encyclical “Laudato si” (“Praised be to You”) has been heralded as the beginning of a new Catholic alliance with the environmental movement. But to read it only as such would be to sell it short. It’s a reflection on what Francis calls our present “ecological crisis,” which goes far deeper than matters typically labeled “environmental.” He’s asking us to reflect on creation as a whole.
Drawing on his predecessors, early on Francis quotes Pope Benedict XVI, who taught that “the misuse of creation begins when we no longer recognize any higher instance than ourselves, when we see nothing else but ourselves.” While the encyclical is addressed to “every living person on this planet,” Francis offers a distinctively Catholic approach that can and must be brought to bear on ecological concerns.
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