Climate change -
Laudate Deum: Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis
Publication on the climate crisis addressed to all people of good will
The Holy See published this October 4, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the new Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis Laudate Deum on the climate crisis.
The Holy Father addresses the situation of climate change in the Laudate Deum (“Praise God”) because “a human being who tries to take the place of God becomes the worst danger for himself” (LD 73) after the Letter Encyclical Laudato si' promulgated on the Solemnity of Pentecost 2015.
The Apostolic Exhortation Laudate Deum, addressed to all people of good will, is composed of six Chapters:
In the first, “the global climate crisis,” Pope Francis warns that climate change is undeniable and its effects are becoming increasingly evident “despite some attempts to minimize or ridicule them” (LD 6). Furthermore, he regrets that the main cause of this problem is human activity and adds that while we cannot correct such damage, we can still take measures to prevent even more serious damage in the future.
In the second Chapter, the Holy Father addresses the “technocratic paradigm” and emphasizes that nature is not a resource to be exploited endlessly, which is why he urges us to recognize that excessive ambition is not ethically sustainable (LD 28).
In the third Chapter, Francis refers to “the weakness of international politics” and highlights the urgent need for global cooperation through new multilateral agreements between States because current and past approaches are insufficient (LD 43).
In the fourth Chapter, the Pope reflects on “climate conferences: progress and failures” and encourages countries to overcome the selfish positions for the benefit of the global common good (LD 44, 52) and in the fifth Chapter reflect on the “what to expect from COP28 in Dubai?” if we do not want to condemn humanity.
In the last Chapter, “spiritual motivations” , the Holy Father calls on people of all religious denominations to react. Catholics are also reminded that in the light of faith there is a responsibility to care for God's creation and that this implies respect for the laws of nature, recognition of the beauty and richness of divine creation.
Finally, Pope Francis invites us to walk in communion, together, synodally, and to commit to “reconciliation with the world that houses us” (LD 69).