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Pope Francis. Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Korea Haemi Castle (cropped)
Pope Francis. Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Korea Haemi Castle (cropped)

‘On Care for Our Common Home:’ Friends respond to the Pope’s Encyclical

Friends are encouraged to read Pope Francis’ Encyclical on caring for the Earth, and to learn how Quaker organizations have responded to this deeply moving ‘letter’ to the world.

As Friends, we are enjoined to seek truth and to do so regardless of its source. Within that spirit, let’s shine light on Pope Francis’ Encyclical on Earth, a document which holds many truths. This Roman Catholic Pope has written an incredible Encyclical for Earth, addressed to all its inhabitants. (If you click on the hyperlink you can read it in one of the eight languages currently available.)

Pope_Francis_Korea_Haemi_Castle_19_(cropped)

Pope Francis

This document is one of the most extensive, cohesive, moving, informative statements from any religious or faith based organization we have seen to date. In the Encyclical, Pope Francis addresses a wide range of interwoven issues, in language that is at once elegant, eloquent, intelligent, and sacred. He recognizes the complexities of the current situation of Earth and all its components. He acknowledges Earth’s sacredness. He speaks to integrated ecology, economics, equality, justice, right relationships, humanity’s rightful place, moral obligations, poverty, and spirituality. He calls to us all to act beyond words and urgently calls us to immediately move on solutions for Earth’s condition.

There are two sections which clearly speak to his Catholic constituency but the vast majority of the 187 pages (over 40,000 words) speaks to us all and is very compelling. Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) before the Encyclical’s release had been hosting conference calls for interfaith folks in preparation and FCNL continues to conference and call for actions and responses now that it is out. FCNL has made a public statement published on its site and Emily Wirzba, a youth leader who works with FCNL, has written an article. Quaker Earthcare Witness’ BeFriending Creation has an article too and QEW is fashioning another response at this writing.

This co-clerk of the Earthcare Committee of SEYM has been reading and rereading the Encyclical and finds it challenging, stimulating, hopeful and thoroughly researched. This Friend could say, Friend Francis speaks my mind. The document could serve as query and discernment for any group of any faith interested in Earthcare. It is well worth the time to read and ponder and respond to with actions. Please do read, discern, and share it. So, how does Pope Francis’ Encyclical speak to you?  —-Brad Stocker

Sources:

The Encyclical: http://w2.vatican.va/content/Francisco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-Francisco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

FCNL Statement: http://fcnl.org/issues/energy/moral_courage_and_climate_change/

Emily Wirzba: https://www.faithandleadership.com/emily-wirzba-interfaith-gathering-young-leaders-rome-gives-hope-climate-change

BeFriending Creation: http://www.quakerearthcare.org/article/praise-be