Author: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Publisher: Food & Agriculture Org.
The name of the text, Laudato si’, published on 18 June 2015, recalls the phrase that begins the “Canticle of Creatures” by St. Francis Assisi, patron saint of creation, the poor and peace. That is the reason he adopted the name Francis after being elected pontiff. At the presentation at FAO headquarters on 27 October 2015 joining the Director General of FAO, José Graziano da Silva, were Laurence Argimon Pistre, Permanent Representative of the European Union in the agencies of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome; Monsignor Fernando Chica Arellano, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the agencies of the United Nations Food and Agriculture in Rome, Cardinals Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
The publication of Laudato Si’—a papal encyclical on a defining issue of our times—was a moment of great importance for Catholics and for the world. Now Fr. Joshtrom Kureethadam, one of the church’s top experts on the document, provides a thoughtful, passionate, and highly accessible commentary on its key ideas and themes. Faithfully attentive to the outline of the six chapters of the encyclical, Fr. Joshtrom has also insightfully arranged the book according to the See-Judge-Act methodology that is increasingly used in spirituality, moral theology, and the social sciences. If Pope Francis is right when he insists that the solution to our environmental problems cannot be found only in technocratic approaches by governments and institutions, but by a wide and thoughtful embrace by all of us of our common responsibility, then Fr. Joshtrom’s book is precisely what we need at this time.
This volume provides a comprehensive introduction to the spiritual, moral and practical themes of Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato Si'. Leading theologians, ethicists, scientists and economists provide accessible overviews of the encyclical's major teachings, the science it engages and the policies required to address the climate crisis. Chapters on the encyclical's theological and moral teachings situate them within the Christian tradition and papal teaching. Science and policy chapters, engaging the encyclical and provide introductions to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The book provides a guide for those wishing to explore the issues raised by Laudato Si' but who lack the specialist knowledge required to know where to begin. Aimed at an undergraduate audience, this book provides a reliable introduction to the major themes of Laudato Si' such as: - a theology of Creation that embraces the insights of contemporary science - a renewed understanding of the human person in relationship to the rest of creation - a spiritual vision of love and responsibility for all creation - the necessary connection between Christian solidarity with the poor and concern for the environment - an introduction to the social encyclical tradition from which Laudato Si' both draws and develops
The earth is the common home of humanity. It is a gift from God. Yet man’s abuse of freedom threatens that home. In his encyclicalPraise Be to You (Laudato Si’), Pope Francis challenges all people to praise God for his glorious creation and to work to safeguard her. The encyclical letter takes its name from St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Creatures, which depicts creation as “a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us”. “This sister”, Pope Francis declares, “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”. He calls for an “integral ecology” based on what Pope St John Paul called an “ecological conversion”—a moral transformation linking the proper response to God for the gift of his creation to concern for justice, especially for the poor. He challenges people to understand ecology in terms of the right ordering of the fundamental relationships of the human person: with God, oneself, other people, and the rest of creation. Francis examines such ecological concerns as pollution, waste, and what he calls “the throwaway culture”. Climate, he insists, is a common good to be protected. He explores the proper use of natural resources and notions such as sustainability from a Judeo-Christian perspective. The loss of biodiversity due to human activities, decline in the quality of life for many people, global inequality of resources, as well as concerns over consumerism and excessive individualism also threaten the good order of creation, writes Pope Francis. While valuing technology and invnovation, he rejects efforts to repudiate the natural order, including the moral law inscribed in human nature or to rely simply on science to solve ecological problems. Moral and spiritual resources are crucial, including openness to God’s purpose for the world. Expounding the biblical tradition regarding creation and redemption in Christ, Francis stresses man’s subordination to God’s plan and the universal communion of all creation. “Dominion”, he maintains, means “responsible stewardship” rather than exploitation. He rejects treating creation as if it were “divine” and insists on the primacy of the human person in creation. He also explores the roots of the ecological crisis in man’s abuse of technology, his self-centeredness, and the rise of practical relativism. Without rejecting political changes, he implores people to change their hearts and their ways of life. Popes Benedict XVI, St John Paul II, and Blessed Paul VI addressed key themes regarding stewardship of God’s creation and justice in the world. But Pope Francis is the first to devote an entire encyclical to the subject.
Eminent theologians, academics, and environmentalists offer their own responses to Pope Francis's Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home, the first papal encyclical devoted exclusively to the subject of the environment.