Who is excited about Laudato Si, by Pope Francis, coming out?!

Oh? No one but me? Okay…

I know that many people laud it as the climate change document, but honestly, most of the document isn’t about climate change, though admittedly climate change is briefly mentioned. It’s about our environment and how our lifestyle affects the environment. Since most of us (including *gulp* myself) seem to have a pretty consumerist attitudes about life, we tend to think in the perspective of, “Well, what can I get?” And this encyclical challenges that idea by placing us in the environment, not as consumers that need things, but rather as a fellow creation that has been set apart to protect and preserve what has been given to us.

I haven’t read all of it since it’s a rather big document and I have an attention span of pretty much a hummingbird. However, from what I’ve read, it appears to make a great deal of sense in that we need to be good stewards of what we are given — which includes the environment. I like how he ties how humanity is affected by the environment from an international perspective. Very often, because I live in the United States, we get a very narrow perspective of current events that only seem to include the Western world, with a bit of Middle East turmoil thrown in every once in a while for good measure. Some of the things regarding South America and Africa are things I never really thought about, so I really appreciate him going in depth describing the plights of some of the most marginalized in our society.

The encyclical also makes me cringe a little bit… I don’t think you can live in the industrialized world and not cringe when you read that papal encyclical, quite honestly. It lays out quite clearly that we have helped make it much harder for the poor in the third world countries from our consumerist lifestyle in which we want the latest and greatest thing.  It reminds me a little bit of this article, which is about a woman who lost both her hands in an LG factory making TVs. Yes, we live a great life in this great country, but at the expense of who? It really makes you think.

Anyway, it’s very fascinating and I look forward to finishing it. You can read it at the Vatican website here: Laudato Si.

Also, if you would like to discuss it, feel free to comment! I would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂