Pope Francis Calls on All to Care for the Earth

Pope Francis’ much-awaited encyclical contains an urgent challenge to protect our common home, the earth, and calls for an ecological approach that “hears both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” 

In Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis seeks “to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.” 

At a press conference on the encyclical’s release, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, noted that Laudato Si reflects the Church’s longstanding social tradition of “reading the signs of the times.” During the press conference, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, highlighted three opportunities for Catholic engagement based on the encyclical:

  • To advocate on the global, national and local levels for the common good
  • For the church to continue to take seriously the formation of young people and adults in integral ecology; the encyclical emphasizes that young people “demand change.”
  • For the church to consider the use of its resources, such as construction of church buildings, in ways that honor the earth.

In a special message to FADICA, Dan Misleh of the Catholic Climate Covenant said the encyclical “provides a new moment for Catholic philanthropy. Supporting efforts to ‘till less and keep more,’ if I can paraphrase Cardinal Turkson, is a worthy endeavor and a critical response to the challenges Pope Francis has laid before us.”

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“What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”

-Pope Francis, Laudato Si(160)