The Encyclical of Pope Francis on the Environment is expected in June 18th. To prepare ourselves to read that important document, here are a number of resources to offer us some perspective on what the Church has been saying about our stewardship of God's creation and about the impact what we have done to our environment is having, especially on the poor.
The resources to the right offer a brief introduction to prepare ourselves to receive the Encyclical.
"Pope Francis intends to publish an encyclical letter later this year on the theme of human ecology. It will explore the relationship between care for creation, integral human development and concern for the poor. The timing of the encyclical is significant: 2015 is a critical year for humanity. In July, nations will gather for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa. In September, the U.N. General Assembly should agree on a new set of sustainable development goals running until 2030. In December, the Climate Change Conference in Paris will receive the plans and commitments of each Government to slow or reduce global warming. The coming 10 months are crucial, then, for decisions about international development, human flourishing and care for the common home we call planet Earth."
In writing about Saint John Paul II' s call for a renewed solidarity, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote:
His appeal is all the more pressing today, in the face of signs of a growing crisis which it would be irresponsible not to take seriously. Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change, desertification, the deterioration and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions? Can we disregard the growing phenomenon of "environmental refugees ," people who are forced by the degradation of their natural habitat to forsake it – and often their possessions as well – in order to face the dangers and uncertainties of forced displacement? Can we remain impassive in the face of actual and potential conflicts involving access to natural resources? All these are issues with a profound impact on the exercise of human rights, such as the right to life, food, health and development.
Cardinal Turkson's Preview of the Encyclical:
Turkson: Change is Needed to Protect Earth and its People
AMERICA magazine article:
Reflection on Climate Change and Enviromental Stewardship
U.S. Catholic Bishops' Resources
The Global Catholic Climate Movement:
“Care for creation is at the heart of the scriptures.
Environmental justice is thoroughly embedded in the Church’s social teaching,
and it has been a repeated theme of Church teaching.”
Faithful Stewards of God’s Creation: A Catholic Resource for Environmental Justice and Climate Change
(United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2007.)
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