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Pope Francis terms his encyclical Laudato Si’ which are the opening words of the Canticle of the Creatures written by St Francis of Assisi in 1224. That Canticle celebrates the family relationship of all creatures (“Brother Sun”, “Sister Mother Earth”) which is expressed in the encyclical’s other title On care for our Common Home. The degradation of the environment is, for Pope Francis, a form of domestic violence! It is certainly not fitting praise for the Creator.

The Pope calls on everyone to “hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”. That means recognising that ecological crises and the social crises of poverty are connected; and responding with a practical spirituality concerned with praising the Creator, protecting Creation, and caring for our fellow Created beings.

Chapter One

What is happening to our Common Home

This chapter is titled “What is happening to our Common Home”. In it, Pope Francis surveys the overwhelming evidence for widespread pollution, dangerous climatic change, and the loss of biodiversity, which are all signs of human disregard for God’s Creation. These ecological sins have led to social ills, especially a shameful inequality between rich and poor. While some countries are making progress, internationally the political responses to these issues have been weak. The Church has an important role to play in ensuring the whole picture is kept in mind, “for the world’s problems cannot be analysed or explained in isolation.”

Chapter Two

The Gospel of Creation

In this chapter, titled “The Gospel of Creation”, Pope Francis calls for sensible dialogue between science and religion. He charts how a spiritual relationship with Creation is part of the Scriptures, which reveal that we are both created by God and called to care for Creation. We should rejoice in Creation, praise the Creator, and meditate on the whole purpose of Created things. Through his Incarnation and Resurrection, Pope Francis reminds us, Jesus is Lord of Creation. “The very flowers of the field and the birds which his human eyes contemplated and admired are now imbued with his radiant presence.”

Chapter Three

Summary coming soon.

The human roots of the ecological crisis

Chapter Four

Summary coming soon.

Integral Ecology

Chapter Five

Summary coming soon.

Lines of approach and action

Chapter Six

Summary coming soon.

Ecological education and spirituality

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