2015 Fall
P. 1

   A publication for the Sisters of Providence and Friends
FALL 2015
  A moral and ethical call to action
Encyclical by Pope Francis intensi es
By Jo Ann Showalter, SP
the global discussion of climate change
   B eing called to recognize our moral and ethical culpability can make us squirm and feel uncomfortable, especially if there is truth in that calling to accountability.  e much anticipated encyclical, Laudato Si or “Praised Be”, focuses on the common good with a section on the environment, especially climate change and its impact on the poor and the marginalized.
Even before the encyclical’s
June 18 release, various factions
were lining up to either disclaim
the document or to use it as
a moral guide for the future.
Francis is not the  rst pope to
make a declaration about the
environment, but he IS the
 rst one to include it as a foundation of an encyclical.
Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople issued a common declaration on environ- mental ethics on June 10, 2002.  ey stated: “. . . at the beginning of the third millennium, we are saddened to see the daily su ering of a great number of people from
violence, starvation, poverty, and disease. We are also concerned about the negative consequences for humanity and for all creation resulting from the degradation of some basic natural resources such as water, air and land, brought about by an economic and technological progress which does not recognize and take into account its limits”.  eir declaration also states: “Respect for creation stems from respect for human
life and dignity. It is only (through) the basis of our recognition that the world
is created by God that we can discern an objective moral order within which to articulate a code of environmental ethics.
In this perspective, Christians and all other believers have a speci c role to play in proclaiming moral values and in educating people in ecologi- cal awareness, which is none other than responsibility towards self, towards others, towards creation.”
  p Pope Francis comforted Filipinos devastated by the typhoon and earthquake last January.
Jo Ann Showalter, SPu
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