Planet Earth & Us


Planet Earth & UsOn Nov. 7 of this year, Brian Roewe of the National Catholic Reporter wrote:

Trump's announcement that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord came just days after he met with Pope Francis  at the Vatican, where the pope presented the president with a copy of his encyclical "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home."

Further in the article Roewe says that:

"The scope and speed of environmental rollbacks under Trump, combined with growing evidence of climate change, have triggered an urgency among Catholic groups to speak loudly, and often frankly, in opposition. They have criticized the decisions as detrimental not only to the planet — in scaling back climate action by the U.S., the present-day no. 2 global polluter and historical leader — but for people, particularly the poor. Through their ministries, they have witnessed how people in the U.S. and abroad have suffered from droughts and natural disasters worsened by global warming, including the ongoing disaster in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, and have experienced in neighborhoods health complications from added pollution accompanying relaxed environmental laws."

"What's so disturbing is that there does not seem to be any even moral compass or moral consciousness about the activity that our leadership is engaged in," said Sr. Patricia McDermott, president of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

In face of these realities, it is well worthwhile to poinder Laudato Si. It can be found at .

The following quotes from the encyclical might help inspire each of us to do our part in working to repair and sustain the various ecosystems of the Earth and to care for its most vulnerable people and creatures.

“Public pressure has to be exerted to bring about decisive political action. Society, through non-governmental organizations and intermediate groups, must put pressure on governments to develop more rigorous regulations, procedures and controls. Unless citizens control political power – national, regional and municipal – it will not be possible to control damage to the environment. Local legislation can be more effective, too, if agreements exist between neighboring communities to support the same environmental policies.” (no. 179)

“Local individuals and groups can make a real difference. They are able to instill a greater sense of responsibility, a strong sense of community, a readiness to protect others, a spirit of creativity and a deep love for the land.” (no. 179)

Each of us could resolve to regularly ask ourselves a question that Pope Francis poses in Laudato Si:

“What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” (no. 160)

Veronica Blake, SMR