Laudato Si'

Key sentences from Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on Care of Our Common Home

(The numbers indicate the paragraph from the document)

LAUDATO Si', mi' Signore - Praise be to you, my Lord.

Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. "Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us… 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. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters,
entitled to plunder her at will….this is …also reflected in the … sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. 2

Saint Francis "showed us just how inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace" 10

Everything is connected

27 The exploitation of the planet has already exceeded acceptable limits and we have still not solved the problem of poverty

49 We have to realise that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

Everything is connected

67 we Christians have at times incorrectly interpreted the scriptures …we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute dominion over other creatures…

the texts tell us to "till and keep" the garden of the world…"the earth is the Lord’s" (Psalm 24) to him belongs "the earth and all that is within it" (Deuteronomy). Thus God rejects every claim to absolute ownership: "The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with me" (Leviticus)

75 The best way to restore men and women to their rightful place, putting an end to their claim to absolute dominion over the earth, is to speak once more of the figure of a Father who creates and alone owns the world. Otherwise, human beings will always try to impose their own laws and interests on reality.

81-2 … it would be mistaken to see other living beings as mere objects subjected to arbitrary human domination. When nature is viewed solely as a source of profit and gain…this model is completely at odds with the ideals of harmony, justice, fraternity and peace proposed by Jesus

83. all creatures are moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival, which is God, in that transcendent fullness where the risen Christ embraces and illumines all things

93 …there is always a social mortgage on all private property, in order that goods may serve the general purpose that God gave them.

109. By itself the market cannot guarantee integral human development and social inclusion. …. we are all too slow in developing economic institutions and social initiatives which can give the poor regular access to basic resources.

Moving to actions

Industrialised countries have a responsibility to lead in providing a solution to the problems they have caused…for example…helping poorer countries to take advantage of abundant solar energy 170-172

52 where ecological debt is concerned. …. developed countries ought to help pay this debt by significantly limiting their consumption of non-renewable energy and by assisting poorer countries …[in]… sustainable development.

There is urgent need of a true world political authority 175

A politics concerned with immediate results, supported by consumerist sectors of the population, is driven to produce short-term results…the myopia of power politics…178

Some economic sectors exercise more power that states themselves. But economics without politics cannot be justified… 196

Addressing all of us

122. When human beings place themselves at the centre, they give absolute priority to immediate convenience and all else becomes relative…

The rejection of every form of self-centredness and self-absorption are essential if we truly wish to care for our brothers and sisters and for the natural environment…208

There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions 211 the Pope quotes the example of turning the heat down a little and wearing an extra layer!

"The external deserts of the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast" (Benedict XVI) For this reason, the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion 217

Cultivate an attitude of serene attentiveness, capable of being fully present to someone without thinking of what comes next, which accepts each moment as a gift from God to be lived to the full 226


consumption with sacrifice,

greed with generosity,

wastefulness with a spirit of sharing

Learn to give, and not simply to give up. 9

"It is a way of loving, of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs…

…the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation"

Click here for the St Francis’ action plan

Read the Pope’s encyclical

Sam Chandler from CAFOD presents the livesimply award to Fr Tom and Roger Layet at St Francis
(December 2017)


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