7 Surprising Ways that Pope Francis’ Encyclical is Calling You to Change

Pope Francis’ approach to climate change is surprising. He affirms practical and common-sense wisdom about how to care for the environment – for example, by turning down the heat, using less plastic, and reducing water use – but his encyclical also contains a much broader diagnosis of why we should be worried about climate change.

At its root, Francis says, climate change is the result of the “violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin” (2). Our irresponsible use of the earth, Pope Francis tells us, is a reflection and a result of our damaged relationships with each other and our distance from God.

It’s tempting to think that Pope Francis’ encyclical is just for the politicians, lobbyists, and environmental groups, but he’s actually talking to the everyday person. “All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation,” he writes, “each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvement, and talents” (14).

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