At noon (Vatican Time, GMT + 1), the Vatican finally released the eagerly-awaited encyclical by Pope Francis, entitled “Laudato Si” (Praise Be to You).
The Pope’s 184-page manuscript not only acknowledges the dangers of climate change, but also labels our actions as its key cause. The Pope draws on more than his spiritual experience in saying so; he had a background in chemistry before joining the priesthood. A lot of the points are echoed by most voices who acknowledge climate change–sea levels will rise, poorer countries will bear the brunt of the cost and damage, it is the responsibility of the industrialized and developed world to aid poorer countries’ economic transitions in environmentally friendly ways so they do not repeat our mistakes. But what sets the Pope’s encyclical apart from most of the voices I’ve heard is his marked optimism:
“All is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.”
While his opinions on climate change have not resounded well with the United States Republican Party, around the world Catholics and non-Catholics alike are praising his commitment to the effort:
— Catholic News Svc (@CatholicNewsSvc) June 18, 2015
We have to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. #LaudatoSi – Pope Francis
— Jeannine Szatkowski (@JMSzatkowski) June 18, 2015
— French Embassy U.S. (@franceintheus) June 18, 2015
— CyberWuff (@cyberwuff) June 18, 2015
— Steven Goldman (@sustaining) June 18, 2015
We’re glad that the Pope is willing to lend his immense sphere of influence to fighting climate change, and we look forward to hearing more about it from him!