Laudato Si’, the encyclical letter of Pope Francis on care for all of God’s creation, was released today. It can be read in its entirety here.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM CAP., of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia wrote, “Laudato Si speaks eloquently of inter-generational solidarity; the beauty of the family; the dishonesty of population control as an answer to poverty; the broad duties of rich nations to those that are poor; and the dignity of the human body in its God-given masculine and feminine forms. ‘It is not a healthy attitude,’ Pope Francis writes, ‘which would seek to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it.’ For the Holy Father, a humane ecology includes much more than our treatment of the material world. It involves our bodies, our sexuality and our personhood as well.”
The Diocese of Pittsburgh has published several resources that can be found here. In part, a Q and A document reads, “Our ‘throwaway culture’ drives many of our environmental problems. We can resist this by taking small steps toward simpler, fuller lives. This will help us grow closer to God and each other. Small everyday actions matter. We can all take action in our homes and in our communities. Responsibly caring for the natural world is a global challenge and it needs a global response. We all need to do our part. This is an opportunity to witness to our faith. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American to be canonized, is attributed as saying: ‘Live simply so that others may simply live.'”
Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of the Diocese of Scranton said in a statement, in part, “In asking the question of what kind of world we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up, Pope Francis calls us to be faithful and prudent stewards of the gifts that we’ve been given. In so doing, he reminds us that it is our responsibility to insure that all of creation is able to exist in harmony, sharing responsibly in the blessings it provides, yet always being mindful to protect its members, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.”
Archbishop Kurtz, the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement today, “In this beautiful and extensive treatment on care for our common home, the Holy Father calls all people to consider our deep and intertwined relationships with God, our brothers and sisters, and the gifts that our Creator has provided for our stewardship.”