By Terri MacKenzie, SHCJ
WHEN: The Pope’s highly anticipated first encyclical is expected to be published June 18th, 2015.
TITLE: The expected title is “Laudato sii” (Be Praised or Praised Be), from St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of Creation praising elements of creation and naming them as kin. (How prescient for one untaught in modern science!) Users of my Advent and Lent resources have found quotes from this prayer on most cover pages. See the entire prayer below.
Pope Francis’ encyclical is also expected to be given the Italian subtitle: “Sulla cura della casa comune” (On the care of the common home).
IMPORTANCE: “Laudato sii” will set a key ethical framework for discussion and policies surrounding climate change ahead of the Pope’s address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on September 24 and his address to the United Nations Special Summit on Sustainable Development Sept. 25.
The Pope’s words will set the moral standard for everyone concerned about climate change, the issue that affects all living beings. He is sure to link Scripture references, care of the poor, and religious responsibility to act to protect creation. Media coverage has already been extensive, with articles and reports both pro and con.
Among the resources for those wishing to explore the Pope’s encyclical are these two:
- In keeping with the Lent material I have been writing since 2004, I shall provide a 5-session program – “Praised be: On the care of the common home” — for those who wish to integrate Lent’s 2016 Scripture readings and the encyclical. It will be available free by November 1st: http://ecospiritualityresources.com/lent.
- RENEW International, GreenFaith, and Catholic Climate Covenant are collaborating to produce an in-depth 12-session resource available in English and Spanish this fall: http://www.renewintl.org/renew/index.nsf/vPages/. I highly recommend this resource.