Pope’s encyclical on environment to be released on June 18


Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, according to the Vatican press office, will be released June 18. “The date foreseen for the publication of the encyclical of the pope is Thursday, June 18,” said the statement released June 4.

The encyclical will have its name “Laudato Sii” (Praised Be), a line from “Canticle of Creatures,” the famous prayer of St Francis of Assisi. It is the introductory phrase to eight verses of St. Francis of Assisi’s famous prayer thanking God for the gifts of creation.

“Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, who is the day, and through whom you give us light,” one of the first lines says.

Ever since he has assumed the papal office Pope Francis has been keen on environmental issues. This is evident from his various mentions about the need to protect nature in his homilies and other writings.

Middle East presidents, church leaders plant olive tree after invocation for peace in Vatican Gardens
Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (both partially hidden), Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople plant an olive tree after an invocation for peace in the Vatican Gardens last year. (CNS/Cristian Gennari, pool)


Here are a few quotes from Pope Francis on environment:

Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation! (3/19/13)

To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! (3/19/13)

The book of Genesis tells us that God created man and woman entrusting them with the task of filling the earth and subduing it, which does not mean exploiting it, but nurturing and protecting it, caring for it through their work. (5/1/13)

… this task entrusted to us by God the Creator requires us to grasp the rhythm and logic of creation. But we are often driven by pride of domination, of possessions, manipulation, of exploitation; we do not “care” for it, we do not respect it, we do not consider it as a free gift that we must care for. (6/5/13)

We are experiencing a moment of crisis; we see it in the environment, but mostly we see it in man. The human being is at stake: here is the urgency of human ecology! And the danger is serious because the cause of the problem is not superficial, but profound: it’s not just a matter of economics, but of ethics and anthropology. The Church has stressed this several times; and many say: yes, that is right, it’s true but the system continues as before, because what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a lack of financial ethics. So men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: this is “scrap culture”, the culture of the disposable. . . . Conversely, a ten-point drop in the stock market in some cities, is a tragedy. A person who dies is not a news story, but a ten point drop in the stock market is a tragedy! So people are discarded, as if they were trash. (6/5/13).


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