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Book Discussion: The Pope Francis encyclical, Laudato sí
January 14, 2016 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Published last June, the papal encyclical is a bold document that ties together the condition of the environment and world poverty. At the recent climate talks in Paris, the encyclical served as an inspiration for the scientific community to look at both factual and ethical solutions to environmental issues.
Kerry Emanuel, MIT professor of climate science has noted, “The Pope’s encyclical is strongly aligned with the scientific consensus about the reality and risks posed by global warming. The most striking feature of the encyclical is its linking of environmental degradation to cultural and political decline, painting it as a moral issue, not just a practical problem.”
In the encyclical, Pope Francis notes, “We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.” (§139)
One of the key encyclical advisers, Cardinal Peter Turkson, notes, “the (encyclical) subtitle, ‘On Care for our Common Home,’ conveys an important conviction. Homes are not isolated, each on its own planet. They are located in neighborhoods and communities, and finally in a single home called ‘Earth.’ The word ‘common’ brings to mind the so-called ‘tragedy of the commons.’ This expression can apply to all situations where the self-interested actions of one or more agents deplete a common resource. For instance, in Laudato si’, the Pope declares the climate and the atmosphere to be common goods ‘belonging to all and meant for all’ (§23). The oceans and other natural resources should likewise be considered as a global commons and protected by an appropriate system of governance (§174).”
For free download of Laudato sí :
Summaries are found at:
For more information on the discussions, contact Bill Hennessy, [masked] or call[masked]