Pope Francis launches a global appeal for the care of creation
An Urgent Appeal to Safeguard the Planet: “Laudate Deum”
At a time of environmental crises, a guiding light emerged on 4 October, the feast of St Francis of Assisi: the Holy See released to the world Pope Francis’ new Apostolic Exhortation, ‘Laudate Deum’.
Chapter 1: Recognising the Global Climate Crisis
Pope Francis not only recognises, but firmly warns about the real and tangible presence of climate change. The Holy Father highlights how, despite voices to the contrary, the effects of climate change are undeniable and are manifesting themselves with increasing vigour and regularity. The predominant cause, identified as human behaviour and activities, places a critical spotlight on human responsibility to the Earth, suggesting that the time to correct certain errors may have passed, but emphasising the vital importance of preventing further damage.
Chapter 2: The Danger of the Technocratic Paradigm
The advance of technology, while bringing with it innumerable benefits, has also thrown humanity into a cyclone of unsustainable exploitation of nature. Our common home is not a commodity to be plundered indiscriminately, and the Exhortation urges humanity to reflect deeply on its ethical and moral approach to technology and nature, pointing out the unsustainability of limitless ambition.
Chapter 3: The Need for a Firm and Cooperative International Policy
The weakness of the international political landscape becomes a critical node in the climate crisis dialogue. Global cooperation is urgent and essential: new multilateral agreements between states are needed to address the challenges of the present, as past and present tactics have not proved sufficient.
Chapter 4: Climate Conferences – Between Successes and Failures
The international climate conferences, amidst lights and shadows, are in need of critical review. The Pontiff urges nations to transcend selfishness, pushing for collective action that looks to the global common good, promoting effective strategies to respond to climate emergencies.
Chapter 5: Expectations for COP28 in Dubai
The expectations and hopes for COP28 in Dubai are clear: do not condemn future generations. The reflection is incisive and a reminder to all participants to consider the broad spectrum of possible consequences of their decisions.
Chapter 6: Towards an Ecological Spirituality
Here, the call becomes even more universal, inviting people of all creeds to respond with urgency and action. The responsibility to care for creation, for Catholics and for all, becomes a call to recognise and respect the beauty and integrity of the world that hosts us.
Conclusion: Walking Together Towards Reconciliation with Creation
In the finale, ‘Laudate Deum’ is not just a spiritual or moral call, but a concrete invitation to move forward in synod, together, towards a path of reconciliation with our environment. It is a message that permeates every chapter of the Apostolic Exhortation, emphasising that the path to healing and sustainability is collective, cooperative and urgent.
The Pope’s new exhortation is, therefore, a clear and powerful statement on the need for global awakening and joint action to address the environmental and climate challenges we face. It is a document that cuts across religious and political barriers, urging each individual to take an active part in shaping a sustainable and just future.