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Resources from Irish Bishops on Care for our Common Home.
APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION LAUDATE DEUM OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO ALL PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL ON THE CLIMATE CRISIS
1. “Praise God for all his creatures”.This was the message that Saint Francis of Assisi proclaimed
by his life, his canticles and all his actions. In this way, he accepted the invitation of the biblical
Psalms and reflected the sensitivity of Jesus before the creatures of his Father: “Consider the lilies
of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory
was not clothed like one of these” (Mt 6:28-29). “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet
not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight” (Lk 12:6). How can we not admire this tenderness of
Jesus for all the beings that accompany us along the way!
2. Eight years have passed since I published the Encyclical Letter Laudato si’, when I wanted to
share with all of you, my brothers and sisters of our suffering planet, my heartfelt concerns about the
care of our common home. Yet, with the passage of time, I have realized that our responses have not
been adequate, while the world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point.
In addition to this possibility, it is indubitable that the impact of climate change will increasingly
prejudice the lives and families of many persons. We will feel its effects in the areas of healthcare,
sources of employment, access to resources, housing, forced migrations, etc.
3. This is a global social issue and one intimately related to the dignity of human life. The
Bishops of the United States have expressed very well this social meaning of our concern about
climate change, which goes beyond a merely ecological approach, because “our care for one another
and our care for the earth are intimately bound together. Climate change is one of the principal
challenges facing society and the global community. The effects of climate change are borne by the
most vulnerable people, whether at home or around the world”.
In a few words, the Bishops
assembled for the Synod for Amazonia said the same thing: “Attacks on nature have consequences
for people’s lives”.
And to express bluntly that this is no longer a secondary or ideological question,
but a drama that harms us all, the African bishops stated that climate change makes manifest “a tragic
and striking example of structural sin”.