The University of Dayton
Laudato Si’: On Care of the Common Home
Religion 103 Section 1
9 December 2016
Pope Francis is the two hundred and sixty sixth successor of Saint Peter in the Roman Catholic church. In 2013, he chose the papal name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Pope Francis’ mission, according to X. J. Zahng’s “How St. Francis influenced Pope Francis's Laudato Si’”, is to “mirror those of the beloved saint who lived over 800 years ago.” 1 He grounds his message in Jesus’s teaching and Gospel values. Pope Francis really associates himself with Saint Francis of Assisi because of his connection with animals and all other living things on this earth.2 Their core values are shared in profound contemplation and life’s mysteries of the presence of God.3 Pope Francis elaborates on these values and how they relate to God’s creation and the environment in his encyclical “Laudato Si’: On Care of the Common Home”. It is an inclusive dialogue explaining how humans must acknowledge the urgency of environmental challenges. He calls the church, and the world, to join him in this mission and resolve our ecological issues with humility and faith. In Alessandro Spina’s “Reflections on Science, Technology, and Risk Regulation in Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’”, he explains that Pope Francis “examines new social challenges with regard to science and technology… could advance law and regulation and more generally the governance of risks in our society.” 4 Pope Francis references climate change, waste, genetic manipulation and biodiversity.5 His aim is to gain his audience’s support in acknowledging man’s direct impact on nature and provide ways of improving all life on our planet.
1Zhang, X. J. “How St. Francis influenced Pope Francis's Laudato Si’ ”. (Cross Currents), 42.
2 Zhang, X. J. “How St. Francis influenced Pope Francis's Laudato Si’ ”. 42.
3 Zhang, X. J. “How St. Francis influenced Pope Francis's Laudato Si’ ”. 42.
4 Spina, Alessandro. “Reflections on Science”. (European Journal of Risk Regulation 6, no. 4.), 579.
5 Spina, Alessandro. “Reflections on Science”, 579.
“Laudato Si’, mi’ Signore” means “Praise be to you, my Lord” and is, not by coincidence, taken from Saint Francis of Assisi. Scientists, philosophers, theologians, and civil groups share Pope Francis’ concern of ethical and spiritual roots with the roots of the earth. This encyclical covers a broad spectrum of topics. It presents the ecological crisis based on scientific research and it considers the principles of Judeo-Christianity and how they relate to the environment. It also offers guidelines for human development and proposes dialogues for action for international policy as well as for Christians attaining a spiritual experience. 6
Chapter one is titled What is Happening to Our Common Home. Pope Francis talks about pollution, waste, and climate change and how they tie to our “throwaway culture. 7 Climate change is one of the man challen...