On Care of Our Common Home (Laudato Si)

Pope Francis
Item Code
Pope Francis’ landmark document on human ecology, On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si’), is the first encyclical completely devoted to the topic. It is addressed to “every living person on this planet” and aims to spark a “dialogue with all people about our common home.” It challenges each one of us to ask ourselves, our corporations, and our governments: “How can anyone claim they are building a better future without thinking of the environment?” Within this framework, Pope Francis powerfully draws our attention also to the poor, who share an intimate relationship with the fragility of the earth.

Aligned and united with the concerns of scientists, philosophers, theologians, and civic groups, Pope Francis calls each of us “to become painfully aware” so that we can “dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering”; thus we will responsibly “discover what each of us can do about it.”

On Care for Our Common Home contextualizes the topic by first reviewing the present ecological crisis which is “unprecedented in the history of humanity.” The Holy Father then sketches out both ethical and spiritual principles from our Judaeo-Christian roots that come to bear on the conversation about human ecology. He stresses the need for a sound moral foundation and emphasizes that “human life is itself a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement.” Of special note is the section on the deep causes that have brought about the present situation. Proposals for dialogue and action in the encyclical are broad, but are meant to affect international policy as well as individual lives. Lastly, helpful guidelines for human development are laid out based on the Christian wisdom tradition.

5.00 x 7.25
Pope Francis was elected in March 2013 as the 266th Bishop of Rome. Formerly Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, he is the first Latin American and Jesuit Pope.
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