Laudato Si’ is Pope Francis’ historic encyclical on care for creation and our common home, calling for “ecological conversion”, changes in lifestyle and society, and strong political action. It was released on June 18, 2015.
Care for creation has been part of the Church’s social teaching for many years, with over 50 statements from either the Vatican or various Bishops’ conferences issued since 1970. However, Laudato Si’ is the first encyclical–the highest level of church teaching–issued on care for creation.
Laudato Si’ has also been transformative by demonstrating the way that our care for each other, our care for nature, and our spiritual life are all interconnected. Our current “throwaway culture” shows a disregard for life, for our community, for the poor and vulnerable, and for creation.
It is only by working together towards true conversion and true lifestyle change, by opening ourselves to “hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” that we can make the changes that we need. This encyclical calls each of us to action, as individuals and a church, and gives us hope that by working towards change together we can protect our common home.
This is why we are asking people, parishes and organizations to sign the Laudato Si’ pledge, and promise to heed the Pope’s call to pray for and with creation, live more simply, and advocate to protect our common home. Because Pope Francis has given us more than a document to study. Truly this encyclical calls us to live Laudato Si’.