It is not often that the Pope is mentioned on the Emmanuel website but his recent encyclical, Laudato si – On the care of our common home, has been widely picked up in the media. In it Pope Francis places climate change in the context of our stewardship of the planet not just as Christians but as humankind. He doesn’t deal with scientific data or attribute blame but rather invites us to explore what is happening to our planet by thinking about our relationships with God and with our neighbours.
He asks ‘What is our purpose in this world? What is the goal of our work and our efforts? What need does the earth have of us?’
“Unless we struggle with these deeper issues,” says the Pope, “I do not believe that our concern for ecology will produce significant results.”
He talks powerfully and painfully about the ecological crisis, about the impact on the poorest and the damage to our world. He rails against a capitalist system which is ever more intent on exploiting the natural world and a consumer culture that risks turning our home into “an immense pile of filth”. He also links environmental concerns with many of the other issues that the Social Justice Team is responding to: trafficking, child exploitation and physical and mental disabilities.
But his is not a pessimistic message. The Pope talks of ‘the gospel of creation’ pointing out that the breakdown of our relationships with God, our neighbour and our planet are caused by sin and that the creator God is also the saviour God. He finds hope that humanity will work together inspired by Christians everywhere living out their faith.
Laudato si – Praise the Lord
For a summary of Laudato si click the link below
the full text of the Pope’s encyclical is available here