In May of 1891 Pope Leo XIII issued the encyclical “Rerum Novarum,” outlining Labors’ God-given right to living wages. That was a controversial encyclical, but Pope Francis’ encyclical this week might be more controversial. For it he borrowed a title from a canticle composed by Francis Assisi.
The encyclical’s title, “Laudato Si” is borrowed from Francis Assisi’s canticle “Laudabo Si mi Signore,”, “I praise you, my Lord.”
Pope Francis, in the encyclical’s introduction, referring to the earth as our Sister, spoke of the ruin coming on our Sister. He then developed his theme through six chapters that went like the following.
Chapter One outlines the causes for her ruin. Chapter Two quotes from the Bible’s concern for the environment. Chapter Three laments over humanity’s failure in protecting Sister earth. Chapter Four calls attention to the economic aspects of caring for Sister earth. Chapter Five outlines ways for us all coming together to save Sister earth. Chapter Six shows the linkage between ecology and spirituality.