Ten Early Things about the Pope’s Encyclical on Creation That Caught My Eye Today

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

1. Here’s a link to the actual document.

2. George Weigel:

That Trinitarian and Biblical understanding of How Things Came to Be underwrites Pope Francis’s critique of the diminished and distorted forms of human self-understanding that are inadequate to the task of facilitating our participation in God’s ongoing creativity. Prominent among these is the ancient, Promethean temptation to displace the divinely created order — which takes its modern form in the tendency of 21st-century science and technology to bracket questions of right and wrong, “ought” and “ought not,” in order to concentrate on issues of technique and technology. Technique and technology are not problems in themselves. The problem comes when they fill humanity’s intellectual horizon and moral imagination to the exclusion of all other considerations. For then everything tends to get instrumentalized, including human relationships and the human relationship to the natural world — and when everything is instrumentalized, everything is also brutalized. 

3. Austen Ivereigh:

Laudato Si’ is Pope Francis’s signature document. It expresses his soul. IfEvangelii Gaudium was his call to the Church to recover its mission, Laudato Si’is a letter to the whole of humanity, addressed not just to all people of goodwill but to all members of the globe. It is a call to conversion of minds, hearts, and lifestyles. It is urgent, compelling, and direct. It will be impossible to ignore.​

4. Pope Francis’s new encyclical is about climate change — and much more.

5. Our Sunday Visitor’s editorial: “Pope Francis is prophetically calling on us to engage the world and understand our God-given bond with our fellow men and women and all creation

6. Cardinal O’Malley in Boston:

The letter is the voice of a pastor and teacher who leads a universal church across regions, cultures and nations. Pope Francis draws deeply on the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and the Catholic social tradition as he develops the religious and moral foundation of his message. He relies heavily on the teaching of his immediate predecessors in the papacy; beginning with John XXII though Paul VI and particularly St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Chapter Two of the encyclical “The Gospel of Creation” draws deeply and broadly from biblical and theological scholarship to stress the specific meaning the environmental challenge is for Catholics. But the letter in the Pope’s mind has a broader audience. He states his intention at the outset to enter into the diverse global dialogue already underway about the threats to “Our Common Home.” He offers this letter as a contribution to the global conversation. He acknowledges with gratitude the resources other religious communities and traditions have made to the conversation, and he explicitly states that while many participants addressing the environment do not hold a religious perspective, he invites consideration of what religious vision and tradition can offer.

7. Fr. Raymond de Souza predicts:

Pope Francis’ ecological encyclical will call for globally coordinated state action to mitigate climate change. His papal environmentalism is both traditional — rooted in the teaching of his predecessors, with the text littered with citations to Benedict XVI and John Paul II — and radical, taking its starting point from the gospel emphasis on the poor as preferential subjects of God’s love.

If his climate-change position will earn the laudations of the international progressive elite, the priority on the rights of the poor will sharply challenge the social liberalism the same elite imposes upon them.

He’s also written about its Cheers and Challenges.

8. Eleven things you probably won’t hear about Pope Francis’s encyclical

9. The five things you may have missed in the Pope’s newest encyclical


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