Pope Francis' Encyclical Letter
Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home
Laudato Si', which translates to "On Care for Our Common Home", is the new appeal from Pope Francis addressed to "every person living on this planet" for an inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. Pope Francis calls the Church and the world to acknowledge the urgency of our environmental challenges and to join him in embarking on a new path. This encyclical is written with both hope and resolve, looking to our common future with candor and humility.
Click here to read Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home.
In order to provide a better understanding of Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home, we've included the following links:
- Breaking Down the Encyclical – a simple, 6-point summary
- Archbishop Cupich's remarks from a press conference on the Encyclical (or read the transcript)
- A chapter-by-chapter presentation from Crux: Covering All Things Catholic
- A brief video from Rev. Robert Barron, Rector of Mundelein Seminary and Founder of Word on Fire Ministries
- An article from The Catholic New World
FYI: What is an Encyclical?
An encyclical is an exceptionally high-level teaching document issued by a pope. Encyclical letters have been addressed to Catholics or, in recent decades, to "all people of goodwill." Pope Francis said, "This encyclical is aimed at everyone. Let us pray that everyone can receive its message and grow in responsibility toward the common home that God has entrusted to us." Although Pope Francis follows his predecessors in speaking about ecology and climate change, this is the first time a papal teaching of such high authority has been exclusively devoted to ecology. Through this encyclical, Pope Francis is fulfilling his role as a pastor to teach Catholics about the moral obligation to care for God's creation and care for the poor who are most impacted by climate disruptions. Source: Resource Catholic Climate Covenant
How You Can Respond to Pope Francis' Appeal
Each of us are called to take concrete steps – from reducing consumption to working for political change – to better care for creation. Here are some ideas.
1. Become more aware of our connectedness. Care for one another and creation includes understanding that “everything is connected” (no. 91 in Laudato Si') and that the economy, politics, community involvement, and technology all affect the future of the planet and humankind. How can we become more aware of our connectedness?
2. Changes to lifestyle and consumption habits can make a big difference. For example, get a re-usable water bottle, take shorter showers, walk, bike or take public transportation instead of driving, recycle, compost food waste, and buy energy efficient appliances.
3. Make changes institutionally at your parish, school, or workplace. For example, start recycling and composting, use washable dinnerware in cafeterias, share electronically instead of printing, do an energy audit, and install solar panels.
4. Support local efforts to solve environmental problems. Community groups around the country are working to make city, county, and state-wide changes that can make a big difference. Find out what is going on locally and get involved.
5. Contact your members of Congress to share Pope Francis’ message and urge action to address climate change. Sign up for action alerts with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.