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Monday, June 22, 2015

My Take On Pope Francis and His Encyclical

Pope Francis has published his encyclical and the 192 page document holds a lot of good stuff, that, hopefully, is going to be taken on board and will begin the change that is needed in this world we live in.

I’m not about to summarize the encyclical … that would be a lengthy blog post.  Instead I just want to say that he has covered a lot of topics from global warming to the issue of water, (even covering the pollution of the oceans), and the effects on the poor and developing countries.

It’s pretty obvious he has done his homework and presents both the scientific as well as the biblical and theology side.  Oh, and he also addresses the varying opinions about global warming that are out there.

He also has not been soft in his criticism of the way wealthy countries/corporations use and abuse poorer countries who sit on goldmines such as fossil fuels, but do not have the means to protect their environments from the ravages of the greedy.

All in all, this is a powerful document.  But one that gives hope.  He points out things that are working now as examples of what can be done.
One sentence that I was impressed with “…Politics must not be subject to the economy, nor should the economy be subject to the dictates of an efficiency-driven paradigm of technocracy….”
Oh now wouldn’t that be an ideal world!

Right at the beginning he opens with the words of St Francis …“Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”….

and in the very next paragraph he boldly states “…This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters….”

It kind of sets the tone for the rest of the document.

Regardless if you are a devout Catholic, of other Christian faith, Muslim or other religion, Agnostic or Atheist, you can take out the religious part if you want and you will still find this is a powerful document.  This man packs a heap of a punch and has a fair amount of influence.  I’m hoping that it pays off.

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