The New Jersey Catholic Conference advocates for laws and policies that protect and promote the proper use of creation, including, animals, plants, and the earth’s natural resources. Proper care for the environment is essential to the protection of the dignity of all people, especially children and the elderly. Society must work to ensure the protection and proper use of the earth’s natural resources not only for the people of today, but also for future generations.
Pope Francis Issues Landmark Encyclical – Laudato Si’
On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis issued Laudato Si' - On Care for Our Common Home. Speaking as a pastor, Pope Francis described the environmental challenges facing the world as urgent as he called on all people to accept their shared responsibility for others and their moral obligation to help shape the future of our planet. In the encyclical, Pope Francis connects care for the earth with care of one another, especially the poor.
In a spirit of hope, candor, humility, and resolve, Pope Francis asks all people to join him in embarking on a new path that will protect the future of Our Common Home. The Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, issued a thoughtful statement on Laudato Si in which he indicated:
“It is very clear that the Holy Father did his homework and benefitted from the input of many scientific and environmental experts. He confronts head on the vexing issues of pollution, global warming and climate change; the quality of available supplies of fresh drinking water; biodiversity and caring for the earth’s ecosystems and a host of other environmental concerns.”
Laudato Si is consistent with the long tradition of Catholic social teaching. Over the coming months, there will be many commentaries in secular and religious media on this landmark encyclical. Some of these commentaries might misinterpret or misrepresent Pope Francis’ message. The following links will help readers to place the encyclical in the context of Catholic Social Teaching:
Praised be the God of All Creation
a statement by Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
Now is a time to read and reflect on Pope Francis’ important message.
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops information on the Environment