LAUDATO SI’

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Let me start my reaction to Laudato Si, Pope Francis encyclical  on the environment . I think I just might ignore giving a review of it , or even giving it a commentary . I think what I will do is first comment on what strikes my interest as I read this document.

Peace on Earth—which man throughout the ages has so longed for and sought after—can never be established, never guaranteed, except by the diligent observance of the divinely established order.

               -from encyclical of Pope John XXIII 1963

What at first glance stands out about this document is its layout, and Pope Francis approach to a Catholic discourse on the environment. From the opening statement Francis reminds us that he is not the first Pope to address environmental concerns, he traces back church documents related to  man and the environment for fifty plus years, beginning with Pope John XXIII. The Churches concern for Gods creation , man and his environment, goes back very far. Why would anyone find it odd that Christ’s Church would express concern for both mankind and the world he lived in? In many church writings are the concern for mans relationship with both the God and Gods creation. This encyclical might be a bit more focused on environmental issues, but much of these concerns are at the heart of Christianity. The opening of the document then seems to reinforce a theme of continuity, there is no radical change but rather a continuation of a long standing discussion.

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