I haven’t made the time to read Pope Francis’s Laudato Si yet, but I’ve got it saved in Pocket and plan to tackle it at the end of the week. I’ll probably have Siri read it to me.
In the meantime, Fr. James Martin has a good overview of Laudato Si‘s main themes. From everything I’ve read about it so far, it seems great because it seems like Pope Francis is calling for a sort of personal conversion of heart on environmental matters that’s making people across the spectrum a bit uncomfortable.
I’ll write more about this when I’be read it, but in the meantime here’s an excerpt from Fr. Martin:
One of the greatest contributions of “Laudato Si” is that it offers what theologians call a “systematic” approach to an issue. First, he links all of us to creation: “We are part of nature, included in it, and thus in constant interaction with it”. But our decisions, particularly about production and consumption, have an inevitable effect on the environment. Pope Francis links a “magical conception of the market,” which privileges profit over the impact on the poor, with the abuse of the environment. Needless to say, a heedless pursuit of money that sets aside the interests of the marginalized and leads to the ruination of the planet are connected. Early on, he points to St. Francis of Assisi, who shows how “inseparable the bond is between concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society and interior peace”. Far from offering a naïve condemnation of capitalism, Pope Francis provides an intelligent critique of the limits of the market, especially where it fails to provide for the poor. “Profit,” he says, “cannot be the sole criterion” of our decisions.