Draft of Pope Francis Encyclical on Climate Change: 'Laudato Si'

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 15 Jun 2015 22:20:00 GMT

The magazine L’Espresso has leaked the Italian draft of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ widely anticipated encyclical on the global moral crisis of man-made global warming, days before its planned Thursday release. A Vatican spokesperson told Bloomberg that the leak was a “heinous act.”

The National Journal’s Jason Plautz summarizes
While renewable power is built up, the encyclical says, it is permissible to rely on fossil fuels, but that overall, the extraction and burning of oil and gas is evil.

The Catholic News Service’s Cindy Wooden reports that the title of the encyclical, “Laudato Si’”, “comes from a hymn of praise by St. Francis of Assisi that emphasizes being in harmony with God, with other creatures and with other human beings.” Father Michael Perry, head of the Franciscan Order, sang the medieval Italian hymn in the garden of the Franciscan headquarters in Rome on Friday, reciting St. Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures, also known as the Canticle of the Sun.

Once a person recognizes the “divine dignity” of every created being, Father Perry said, he or she recognizes a responsibility to “give glory to God by respecting and caring and promoting a sense of ‘being in this together,’ that life is one and each of us brings a special contribution.”

The interconnectedness of all creatures should help people to recognize that when they hoard riches and resources, they are harming their own brothers and sisters, especially the poor, he explained.

St. Francis’ canticle “is not just a flowery song about how we should live with nature. It is challenging us to revise our entire way of living our lives” in accordance with Gospel values, he said. “If someone is starving somewhere in the world, we are responsible.”

The canticle is a call for people to recognize that they are sons and daughters of God and brothers and sisters to one another, he said, “part of one family that embraces all creation: trees, sun, rivers, wind, fire—all of these because they all give glory to God.”

While St. Francis’ praise of Brother Sun and Sister Moon has been romanticized in many ways, Father Perry said, the obligations it carries are very realistic and concrete: to defend human dignity, especially the dignity of the poor; to promote dialogue and reconciliation to end war; to safeguard the earth and all living creatures; and to learn to live with just what one needs, not all that one wants.

Speaking before the scheduled release June 18 of the encyclical, Father Perry said the title signals Pope Francis’ belief that the entire church and all its members must be in solidarity with the poor, “must be about peace” and must respect the planet.

Download the Italian draft of Laudato Si’.

Update: View or download an English translation of the draft text.