What is Laudato Si’?
Laudato Si’ (“Praise Be to You”) is the second encyclical of Pope Francis. The title is derived from St. Francis of Assisi’s 13th-century “Canticle of the Sun”, which reminds us “that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life”1. “This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.”2
In his second encyclical, the Pope calls all people of the world to take “swift and unified global action” and puts forth the question “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us?” 160
This easy-to-read document also offers us hope as “Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start” 205
Learn more about Laudato Si’ through the links below, exploring the main themes and messages. As you study the materials, consider an examination of conscience – “How have I lived in communion with all creatures and nature?”:
- Watch an Introductory Animation Video
Click and start up the video above for a quick and engaging look at the Laudato si’.
- Guide for Initial Reading
This is a useful guide for an initial reading of the Encyclical which will help you grasp the development and identify the basic themes.
- The Complete Encyclical
The complete document direct from the Vatican. Click on the link above or download the PDF file here.
- Readers’ Guide & Study Questions
A nice resource to delve deeper into the encyclical. It offers a guide and a series of questions by chapters for group discussions.
- 13 Things to Know and Share
An article you can share. Written by Jimmy Akin who is an internationally known author and speaker.
“The world is under threat by the dark forces of greed and consumerism, as can be seen in the wanton exploitation of mother earth for profit, glaringly robbing created life of home, health and vitality. We in Singapore are all too familiar with this, having had firsthand experience of the cruel effects of corporate greed when our blue skies and clean air were invaded and replaced with choking haze. And such disregard for ecology and the environment is happening all over the world!
It is with this environmental and human ecological crisis in mind that Pope Francis promulgated his encyclical “Laudato Si” on the environment earlier this year. In it, he emphasizes the need for us to cherish the gift of creation by exercising responsible stewardship and cultivating “ecological virtues” which will ensure the sustainable use of the earth’s resources.”
– Archbishop William Goh, 2015
The Church’s Appeal to Negotiating Parties of COP21
What is COP21?
It is the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.
How is the Catholic Church Involved?
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si’ calls for action against climate change. On 26 October, an “Appeal” from the Church in each continent was formally signed and made public at a press conference at the Holy See Press Office. It calls those negotiating the COP 21 in Paris to work toward the approval of a fair and truly transformational climate agreement. Read the document here.
What Can I Do?
Take part in events that promote the caring for the climate. An example of such an event is the Global Climate March:
On 29 November, a million or more men, women and children will take part in the Global Climate March. The 50 000 representatives at COP21 – 25000 official delegates and another 25000 participants with various interests – need to hear the message of Laudato si’ and the voice of God’s people. To echo these in the halls of negotiation and decision is the role of citizens everywhere calling for a responsible, successful COP21. ” – Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson