Bishop McKenna welcomes Pope Francis' new encyclical: Care for Our Common Home


Bishop McKenna has welcomed the publication of Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Care for Our Common Home. He urges Catholics and all people of good will to read it with an open mind and heart. He picks out some highlights of the letter to encourage that reading:

“The new letter from Pope Francis is big. Not merely in its length and detail, but in its vision and its strong voice.

The Pope opens bluntly: ‘Our common home is like a sister… This sister now cries out to us because of the harm that we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.’ (1-2)

Later on, Francis says: ‘Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain. We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth… We need to reflect on our accountability before those who will have to endure the dire consequences.’ (161)

At the heart of the Pope’s message is that ‘God wills the interdependence of creatures.’ (86)

As a Christian, he keeps his eyes on our Creator and underlines ‘our unique place as human beings in this world’ (15) and the responsibility that goes with it. A renewal in the natural ecology and a renewal in the human ecology are intertwined. The beginning of the problem and the beginning of a solution to it are in the human heart: and the relationships with nature and each other which flow from it.

Quoting his predecessor, Benedict XVI, he says that ‘The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast.’

Pope Francis does not propose specific technological or economic plans, but wants to shake the indifference that prevents them being made and carried out. He is attempting to give humanity hope that our common will to work together to repair the home we share need not be paralysed or thwarted.

This big document will be around for a while: studied and quoted, sometimes misunderstood or misrepresented. I urge you to read it for yourself. And I pray that it will have an effect in unsettling complacency and invigorating action.”

The document concludes with two prayers composed by the Pope, which are attached.

The encyclical can be read HERE>

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