miércoles, 30 de diciembre de 2015

Laudato Si - a section-by-section summary of the entire encyclical

A Guide to Laudato Si: A Section-By-Section Summary of Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment

By Joe Carter

Pope Francis has released his eagerly anticipated encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’. While the document deserves a close reading, it’s extreme length (80 pages/45,000 words) will make it difficult for many people to process. To help highlight some of the key points I’ve produced a section-by-section summary of the entire encyclical.

As with any summary, much of the meaning and context will be lost. But I hope this will provide you with a starting point for greater engagement with the latest edition to the social teachings of the Catholic Church.

(Note: Each of the various section headings are underlined.)


“Laudato Si’, mi’ Signore” means “Praise be to you, my Lord” and is taken from a canticle by Saint Francis of Assisi which reminds us earth like a sister. “Our Sister, Mother Earth” is now crying out because of the way we humans have harmed her.

Nothing in this world is indifferent to us

Previous popes have also raised concerns about environmental degradation.

This encyclical is addressed to “every person living on this planet” with the hope of entering “into dialogue with all people about our common home.”

United by the same concern

Numerous scientists, philosophers, theologians, and civic groups also share this concern.

Many of these problems have “ethical and spiritual roots.”

Saint Francis of Assisi

Francis helps us to better see what is required for an integral ecology.

My appeal

The concern for the Earth includes a “concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development.”

We need a new dialogue, that includes everyone, about how we are shaping the future of our planet.

What this encyclical will cover:

1. Reviews the “present ecological crisis” based on the “results of the best scientific research available today.”

2. Considers “principles drawn from the Judaeo-Christian tradition” related to the commitment to the environment.

3. Considers the symptoms and causes of the crisis “to provide an approach to ecology which respects our unique place as human beings in this world and our relationship to our surroundings.

4. Offers broader “proposals for dialogue and action” for both individuals and international public policy.

5. Offers guidelines for human development based on the Christian spiritual experience.


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