not only to Catholics but to “every person living on this planet,”
Pope Francis' second encyclical is a challenging call for a “bold
cultural revolution” in how we think about technological progress
and economic growth. The degradation of our environment, he says, is
a symptom of deeper problems: rapid change, unsustainable
over-consumption, indifference to the poor, and the decay of social
values. He offers a variety
of solutions, including a change in lifestyles away from “extreme
consumerism” and toward a greater sense of social responsibility.
For Christians, an “ecological spirituality” one that is grounded
in the convictions of our faith is not “an optional or a secondary
aspect of our Christian experience.” Drawing on the rich social
teachings of the Church, Laudato
is a groundbreaking document that will be discussed and studied by
both believers and non-believers for years to come.