On Care of Our Common Home (Laudato Si)
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.