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"Laudato Si"

“Laudato Si”, Italian for "Praise Be to You”, is the second encyclical of Pope Francis. The encyclical has the subtitle, “On care for our common home”. The title of the encyclical is from Saint Francis of Assisi's 13th-century “Canticle of the Sun”, (also called the "Canticle of the Creatures"), a poem and prayer in which God is praised for the creation of the different creatures and aspects of the Earth. To open/download a pdf copy of the encyclical, CLICK HERE.

On the “AMERICA - The National Catholic Review” website, the perspectives of several writers regarding “Laudato Si” are shared. More info at the link.

Looking at "Laudato Si'" from the Global South
Agnes M. Brazal

Coming from a fragile archipelago where the rise in sea level is highest in the world and extreme weather events are predicted to further increase this century, I worry for our future and fervently hope that the clarion call of Pope Francis will be heeded. “Laudato Si’” enjoins all people of goodwill to be concerned about what is happening to our common home. He calls on rich nations to repay their ecological debt to the developing countries by reducing consumption of nonrenewable energy and...

To Till and Tend
Jim Ennis

Pope Francis, through his letter, “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home,” has done both the world and its people a great service.

A Sign of Contradiction
Stephen P. White

Let me propose a general rule for reading “Laudato Si’”: If the idea of evangelical poverty doesn’t make any sense to you, then large parts of the encyclical won’t make much sense either. That’s not to say the converse is true; the issues addressed are varied and often complex.

An Awe-Inspiring Contemplation
Jojo M. Fung

The personal reflections of Pope Francis in “Laudato Si’” serve as a contemplatio, an “awe-filled contemplation of creation” (No. 125). This contemplation opens up in us a growing desire to savor the mystical presence of God. God’s love is experienced as a suffusing and sustaining activity in creation, where the poor of today and tomorrow struggle to find a place in...

Why 'Laudato Si’' is the Perfect Encyclical for Millennials
Kerry Weber

When I was about 8 years old, I bought a copy of a slim book called 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth. I ploughed through its pages and then immediately set out to enact its suggestions, like making birdhouses from milk jugs, trying to convince my parents to put a brick in the toilet tank (so it would use less water), and writing letters about saving dolphins from oil spills to...

What the Environmental Encyclical Means
The Editors

God’s Poor in God’s Creation
By Drew Christiansen, S.J.

The Diversity of Creaturely Life
Elizabeth Pyne

In the lead-up to the encyclical a number of friends, colleagues, and pundits have wondered what place teaching on gender and sexuality would occupy in Pope Francis’ treatment of faith and ecology. If the question seems a strange one it is not without warrant. Building on John Paul II’s connection of environmental stewardship to more recognizable “life issues,” Benedict XVI often paired calls for responsibility in “natural ecology’ strictly speaking with care for...

A Spiritual Challenge to Face a Crisis of our Own Making
Vincent J. Miller

"Laudato Si’" brings a new spiritual depth to the tradition of papal social encyclicals. Extensive quotes from Christian mystical writers such as Therese of Liseux, John of the Cross and St. Bonaventure, and even the Sufi ‘Ali al-Khawas make clear something new is in play here.

'Laudato Si' Joins the Tradition of Catholic Social Teaching
Kevin Clarke

Pope Francis wants it clear that his first encyclical is to be appreciated as an addition to the church’s 124 year tradition of Catholic Social Teaching. How do we know?

The Franciscan Character of 'Laudato Si''
Daniel P. Horan

Perhaps it is no accident that, after opening his encyclical letter "Laudato Si’" with a quote from St. Francis of Assisi’s famous Canticle of the Creatures, Pope Francis cites Pope St. John XXIII’s encyclical "Pacem in Terris" (1963) as the model for his audience of “all people” (No. 3). Shortly after "Pacem in Terris" was published, the renowned...