What does Earth Day Really Mean for Catholics?

Apr 23rd, 2016

Here are a few things the Pope has to say in his latest Encyclical:

“The destruction of the human environment is extremely serious, not only because God has entrusted the world to us men and women, but because human life is itself a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement.” Article 5

“Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another.” Article 42

“...economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to speculation and the pursuit of financial gain, which fail to take the context into account, let alone the effects on human dignity and the natural environment. Here we see how environmental deterioration and human and ethical degradation are closely linked.” Article 56

“In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the word ‘creation’ has a broader meaning than ‘nature,’ for it has to do with God’s loving plan in which every creature has its own value and significance.” Article 76

“When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities - to offer just a few examples - it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected.” Article 117

“It cannot be emphasized enough how everything is interconnected.” Article 138

“Human ecology is inseparable from the notion of the common good, a central and unifying principle of social ethics.” Article 156

“The mindset which leaves no room for sincere concern for the environment is the same mindset which lacks concern for the inclusion of the most vulnerable members of society.” Article 196

“An integral ecology is also made up of simple daily gestures, which break with the logic of violence, exploitation, and selfishness. In the end, a world of exacerbated consumption is at the same time a world which mistreats life in all its forms.” Article 230

(Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis on Care for Our Common Home)

Peace & Justice Committee