Climate crisis compels Laudato Si update


Pope Francis’ follow-up document to his 2015 encyclical on the environment will reportedly be released on October 4. The pope said he was updating the document because of the current issues affecting large parts of the planet and called on Catholics to work to help protect our ‘common home’.


The letter will focus on recent climate calamities that have claimed thousands of lives. These past few months have seen wildfires in Canada and Europe, floods in Libya, a devastating earthquake in Morocco and a prolonged heatwave in North America. It’s believed the letter will be published on the feast of St Francis of Assisi and at the end of the Season of Creation.


“Laudato Si’, On Care for Our Common Home” was the title of Pope Francis’ 2015 first encyclical letter on the need for an “integral ecology” that respects the dignity and value of the human person, helps the poor and safeguards the planet.


Speaking to young people in Portugal at the International Congress on the Care of Creation in late July, Canadian Cardinal Michael Czerny, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, said the “overwhelming global evidence shows that humans have significantly altered all the earth’s systems: the atmosphere, the oceans, the continents and ecosystems. The whole community of life on earth.”


He also pointed to “disturbing concurrent trends” of ice rapidly disappearing from glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic seas, ocean temperatures rising and extreme weather events like floods and wildfires becoming more frequent and more intense.


Main image: The earthquake that hit Marrakech killing at least 3000 people. Courtesy Fadel Senna/FP Via Getty Images.


Image: Wildfires in Canada have scorched around 14 million hectares this year.


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