2 Need 2 page summary of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si. Please do chapter by chapter summary with no plagiarism and MLA formatting. Include citation for every q


Need 2 page summary of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si. Please do chapter by chapter summary with no plagiarism and MLA formatting. Include citation for every quote.





1. “Laudato si’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to
you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful
canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that
our common home is like a sister with whom we
share our life and a beautiful mother who opens
her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my
Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who
sustains and governs us, and who produces vari-
ous fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.1

2. This sister now cries out to us because of
the harm we have inflicted on her by our irre-
sponsible use and abuse of the goods with which
God has endowed her. We have come to see
ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to
plunder her at will. The violence present in our
hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the
symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the
water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is
why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste,
is among the most abandoned and maltreated of
our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We
have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the
earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up

1 Canticle of the Creatures, in Francis of Assisi: Early Docu-
ments, vol. 1, New York-London-Manila, 1999, 113-114.


of her elements, we breathe her air and we re-
ceive life and refreshment from her waters.

Nothing in this world is indifferent to us

3. More than fifty years ago, with the world tee-
tering on the brink of nuclear crisis, Pope Saint
John XXIII wrote an Encyclical which not only
rejected war but offered a proposal for peace. He
addressed his message Pacem in Terris to the en-
tire “Catholic world” and indeed “to all men and
women of good will”. Now, faced as we are with
global environmental deterioration, I wish to ad-
dress every person living on this planet. In my
Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, I wrote
to all the members of the Church with the aim
of encouraging ongoing missionary renewal. In
this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue
with all people about our common home.

4. In 1971, eight years after Pacem in Terris, Bless-
ed Pope Paul VI referred to the ecological concern
as “a tragic consequence” of unchecked human
activity: “Due to an ill-considered exploitation of
nature, humanity runs the risk of destroying it and
becoming in turn a victim of this degradation”.2
He spoke in similar terms to the Food and Agri-
culture Organization of the United Nations about
the potential for an “ecological catastrophe under
the effective explosion of industrial civilization”,
and stressed “the urgent need for a radical change

2 Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens (14 May 1971), 21:
AAS 63 (1971), 416-417.


in the conduct of humanity”, inasmuch as “the
most extraordinary scientific advances, the most
amazing technical abilities, the most astonishing
economic growth, unless they are accompanied
by authentic social and moral progress, will defin-
itively turn against man”.3

5. Saint John Paul II became increasingly con-
cerned about this issue. In his first Encyclical he
warned that human beings frequently seem “to
see no other meaning in their natural environ-
ment than what serves for immediate use and
consumption”.4 Subsequently, he would call for a
global ecological conversion.5 At the same time, he
noted that little effort had been made to “safe-
guard the moral conditions for an authentic human
ecology”.6 The destruction of the human environ-
ment is extremely serious, not only because God
has entrusted the world to us men and women,
but because human life is itself a gift which must
be defended from various forms of debasement.
Every effort to protect and improve our world
entails profound changes in “lifestyles, models
of production and consumption, and the estab-
lished structures of power which today govern

3 Address to FAO on the 25th Anniversary of its Institution
(16 November 1970), 4: AAS 62 (1970), 833.

4 Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis (4 March 1979), 15:
AAS 71 (1979), 287.

5 Cf. Catechesis (17 January 2001), 4: Insegnamenti 41/1
(2001), 179.

6 Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991), 38:
AAS 83 (1991), 841.


societies”.7 Authentic human development has a
moral character. It presumes full respect for the
human person, but it must also be concerned for
the world around us and “take into account the
nature of each being and of its mutual connec-
tion in an ordered system”.8 Accordingly, our hu-
man ability to transform reality must proceed in
line with God’s original gift of all that is.9

6. My predecessor Benedict XVI likewise pro-
posed “eliminating the structural causes of the
dysfunctions of the world economy and correct-
ing models of growth which have proved incapa-
ble of ensuring respect for the environment”.10
He observed that the world cannot be analyzed
by isolating only one of its aspects, since “the
book of nature is one and indivisible”, and in-
cludes the environment, life, sexuality, the family,
social relations, and so forth. It follows that “the
deterioration of nature is closely connected to
the culture which shapes human coexistence”.11
Pope Benedict asked us to recognize that the
natural environment has been gravely damaged
by our irresponsible behaviour. The social envi-
ronment has also suffered damage. Both are ulti-

7 Ibid., 58: AAS 83 (1991), p. 863.
8 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (30

December 1987), 34: AAS 80 (1988), 559.
9 Cf. id., Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (1 May 1991),

37: AAS 83 (1991), 840.
10 Address to the Diplomatic Corps Accredited to the Holy See (8

January 2007): AAS 99 (2007), 73.
11 Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate (29 June 2009), 51:

AAS 101 (2009), 687.


mately due to the same evil: the notion that there
are no indisputable truths to guide our lives, and
hence human freedom is limitless. We have for-
gotten that “man is not only a freedom which he
creates for himself. Man does not create himself.
He is spirit and will, but also nature”.12 With pa-
ternal concern, Benedict urged us to realize that
creation is harmed “where we ourselves have the
final word, where everything is simply our prop-
erty and we use it for ourselves alone. The misuse
of creation begins when we no longer recognize
any higher instance than ourselves, when we see
nothing else but ourselves”.13

United by the same concern

7. These statements of the Popes echo the
reflections of numerous scientists, philoso-
phers, theologians and civic groups, all of which
have enriched the Church’s thinking on these
questions. Outside the Catholic Church, other
Churches and Christian communities – and oth-
er religions as well – have expressed deep con-
cern and offered valuable reflections on issues
which all of us find disturbing. To give just one
striking example, I would mention the statements
made by the beloved Ecumenical Patriarch Bar-
tholomew, with whom we share the hope of full
ecclesial communion.

12 Address to the Bundestag, Berlin (22 September 2011):
AAS 103 (2011), 664.

13 Address to the Clergy of the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone
(6 August 2008): AAS 100 (2008), 634.


8. Patriarch Bartholomew has spoken in par-
ticular of the need for each of us to repent of the
ways we have harmed the planet, for “inasmuch
as we all generate small ecological damage”, we
are called to acknowledge “our contribution,
smaller or greater, to the disfigurement and de-
struction of creation”.14 He has repeatedly stat-
ed this firmly and persuasively, challenging us to
acknowledge our sins against creation: “For hu-
man beings… to destroy the biological diversity
of God’s creation; for human beings to degrade
the integrity of the earth by causing changes in
its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural
forests or destroying its wetlands; for human be-
ings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its
air, and its life – these are sins”.15 For “to commit
a crime against the natural world is a sin against
ourselves and a sin against God”.16

9. At the same time, Bartholomew has drawn
attention to the ethical and spiritual roots of
environmental problems, which require that we
look for solutions not only in technology but in
a change of humanity; otherwise we would be
dealing merely with symptoms. He asks us to
replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with
generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing,

14 Message for the Day of Prayer for the Protection of Creation (1
September 2012).

15 Address in Santa Barbara, California (8 November 1997);
cf. John Chryssavgis, On Earth as in Heaven: Ecological Vision and
Initiatives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Bronx, New York,

16 Ibid.


an asceticism which “entails learning to give, and
not simply to give up. It is a way of loving, of
moving gradually away from what I want to what
God’s world needs. It is liberation from fear,
greed and compulsion”.17 As Christians, we are
also called “to accept the world as a sacrament of
communion, as a way of sharing with God and
our neighbours on a global scale. It is our humble
conviction that the divine and the human meet
in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of
God’s creation, in the last speck of dust of our

Saint Francis of Assisi

10. I do not want to write this Encyclical with-
out turning to that attractive and compelling
figure, whose name I took as my guide and in-
spiration when I was elected Bishop of Rome.
I believe that Saint Francis is the example par
excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an
integral ecology lived out joyfully and authenti-
cally. He is the patron saint of all who study and
work in the area of ecology, and he is also much
loved by non-Christians. He was particularly
concerned for God’s creation and for the poor
and outcast. He loved, and was deeply loved for
his joy, his generous self-giving, his openhearted-
ness. He was a mystic and a pilgrim who lived in

17 Lecture at the Monastery of Utstein, Norway (23 June

18 “Global Responsibility and Ecological Sustainability”,
Closing Remarks, Halki Summit I, Istanbul (20 June 2012).

simplicity and in wonderful harmony with God,
with others, with nature and with himself. He
shows us just how inseparable the bond is be-
tween concern for nature, justice for the poor,
commitment to society, and interior peace.

11. Francis helps us to see that an integral ecol-
ogy calls for openness to categories which tran-
scend the language of mathematics and biology,
and take us to the heart of what it is to be hu-
man. Just as happens when we fall in love with
someone, whenever he would gaze at the sun, the
moon or the smallest of animals, he burst into
song, drawing all other creatures into his praise.
He communed with all creation, even preaching
to the flowers, inviting them “to praise the Lord,
just as if they were endowed with reason”.19 His
response to the world around him was so much
more than intellectual appreciation or econom-
ic calculus, for to him each and every creature
was a sister united to him by bonds of affection.
That is why he felt called to care for all that ex-
ists. His disciple Saint Bonaventure tells us that,
“from a reflection on the primary source of all
things, filled with even more abundant piety, he
would call creatures, no matter how small, by the
name of ‘brother’ or ‘sister’”.20 Such a conviction

19 thomas of Celano, The Life of Saint Francis, I, 29,
81: in Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, New York-Lon-
don-Manila, 1999, 251.

20 The Major Legend of Saint Francis, VIII, 6, in Francis of
Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, New York-London-Manila, 2000,



cannot be written off as naive romanticism, for it
affects the choices which determine our behav-
iour. If we approach nature and the environment
without this openness to awe and wonder, if we
no longer speak the language of fraternity and
beauty in our relationship with the world, our at-
titude will be that of masters, consumers, ruth-
less exploiters, unable to set limits on their im-
mediate needs. By contrast, if we feel intimately
united with all that exists, then sobriety and care
will well up spontaneously. The poverty and aus-
terity of Saint Francis were no mere veneer of
asceticism, but something much more radical: a
refusal to turn reality into an object simply to be
used and controlled.

12. What is more, Saint Francis, faithful to
Scripture, invites us to see nature as a magnifi-
cent book in which God speaks to us and grants
us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness.
“Through the greatness and the beauty of crea-
tures one comes to know by analogy their mak-
er” (Wis 13:5); indeed, “his eternal power and di-
vinity have been made known through his works
since the creation of the world” (Rom 1:20). For
this reason, Francis asked that part of the friary
garden always be left untouched, so that wild
flowers and herbs could grow there, and those
who saw them could raise their minds to God,
the Creator of such beauty.21 Rather than a prob-

21 Cf. thomas of Celano, The Remembrance of the Desire of
a Soul, II, 124, 165, in Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2,
New York-London-Manila, 2000, 354.


lem to be solved, the world is a joyful mystery to
be contemplated with gladness and praise.

My appeal

13. The urgent challenge to protect our com-
mon home includes a concern to bring the whole
human family together to seek a sustainable and
integral development, for we know that things
can change. The Creator does not abandon us;
he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of
having created us. Humanity still has the ability
to work together in building our common home.
Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all
those striving in countless ways to guarantee the
protection of the home which we share. Particu-
lar appreciation is owed to those who tirelessly
seek to resolve the tragic effects of environmen-
tal degradation on the lives of the world’s poor-
est. Young people demand change. They wonder
how anyone can claim to be building a better fu-
ture without thinking of the environmental crisis
and the sufferings of the excluded.

14. I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue
about how we are shaping the future of our plan-
et. We need a conversation which includes every-
one, since the environmental challenge we are
undergoing, and its human roots, concern and
affect us all. The worldwide ecological move-
ment has already made considerable progress
and led to the establishment of numerous or-
ganizations committed to raising awareness of
these challenges. Regrettably, many efforts to


seek concrete solutions to the environmental cri-
sis have proved ineffective, not only because of
powerful opposition but also because of a more
general lack of interest. Obstructionist attitudes,
even on the part of believers, can range from de-
nial of the problem to indifference, nonchalant
resignation or blind confidence in technical solu-
tions. We require a new and universal solidarity.
As the bishops of Southern Africa have stated:
“Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed
to redress the damage caused by human abuse of
God’s creation”. 22 All of us can cooperate as in-
struments of God for the care of creation, each
according to his or her own culture, experience,
involvements and talents.

15. It is my hope that this Encyclical Letter,
which is now added to the body of the Church’s
social teaching, can help us to acknowledge the
appeal, immensity and urgency of the challenge
we face. I will begin by briefly reviewing several
aspects of the present ecological crisis, with the
aim of drawing on the results of the best scientif-
ic research available today, letting them touch us
deeply and provide a concrete foundation for the
ethical and spiritual itinerary that follows. I will
then consider some principles drawn from the
Judaeo-Christian tradition which can render our
commitment to the environment more coherent.
I will then attempt to get to the roots of the pres-

22 southern afriCan CatholiC BishoPs’ ConferenCe,
Pastoral Statement on the Environmental Crisis (5 September 1999).


ent situation, so as to consider not only its symp-
toms but also its deepest causes. This will help to
provide an approach to ecology which respects
our unique place as human beings in this world
and our relationship to our surroundings. In light
of this reflection, I will advance some broader
proposals for dialogue and action which would
involve each of us as individuals, and also affect
international policy. Finally, convinced as I am
that change is impossible without motivation and
a process of education, I will offer some inspired
guidelines for human development to be found
in the treasure of Christian spiritual experience.

16. Although each chapter will have its own
subject and specific approach, it will also take up
and re-examine important questions previous-
ly dealt with. This is particularly the case with
a number of themes which will reappear as the
Encyclical unfolds. As examples, I will point to
the intimate relationship between the poor and
the fragility of the planet, the conviction that
everything in the world is connected, the critique
of new paradigms and forms of power derived
from technology, the call to seek other ways of
understanding the economy and progress, the
value proper to each creature, the human mean-
ing of ecology, the need for forthright and honest
debate, the serious responsibility of international
and local policy, the throwaway culture and the
proposal of a new lifestyle. These questions will
not be dealt with once and for all, but reframed
and enriched again and again.



What is haPPening
to our Common home

17. Theological and philosophical reflections
on the situation of humanity and the world can
sound tiresome and abstract, unless they are
grounded in a fresh analysis of our present situa-
tion, which is in many ways unprecedented in the
history of humanity. So, before considering how
faith brings new incentives and requirements
with regard to the world of which we are a part,
I will briefly turn to what is happening to our
common home.

18. The continued acceleration of changes af-
fecting humanity and the planet is coupled to-
day with a more intensified pace of life and work
which might be called “rapidification”. Although
change is part of the working of complex sys-
tems, the speed with which human activity has
developed contrasts with the naturally slow pace
of biological evolution. Moreover, the goals of
this rapid and constant change are not neces-
sarily geared to the common good or to integral
and sustainable human development. Change is
something desirable, yet it becomes a source of
anxiety when it causes harm to the world and to
the quality of life of much of humanity.


19. Following a period of irrational confidence
in progress and human abilities, some sectors
of society are now adopting a more critical ap-
proach. We see increasing sensitivity to the en-
vironment and the need to protect nature, along
with a growing concern, both genuine and dis-
tressing, for what is happening to our planet.
Let us review, however cursorily, those questions
which are troubling us today and which we can
no longer sweep under the carpet. Our goal is
not to amass information or to satisfy curiosi-
ty, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare
to turn what is happening to the world into our
own personal suffering and thus to discover what
each of us can do about it.

i. Pollution and Climate Change

Pollution, waste and the throwaway culture

20. Some forms of pollution are part of peo-
ple’s daily experience. Exposure to atmospheric
pollutants produces a broad spectrum of health
hazards, especially for the poor, and causes mil-
lions of premature deaths. People take sick, for
example, from breathing high levels of smoke
from fuels used in cooking or heating. There is
also pollution that affects everyone, caused by
transport, industrial fumes, substances which
contribute to the acidification of soil and water,
fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and
agrotoxins in general. Technology, which, linked
to business interests, is presented as the only way


of solving these problems, in fact proves inca-
pable of seeing the mysterious network of re-
lations between things and so sometimes solves
one problem only to create others.

21. Account must also be taken of the pollution
produced by residue, including dangerous waste
present in different areas. Each year hundreds of
millions of tons of waste are generated, much of
it non-biodegradable, highly toxic and radioactive,
from homes and businesses, from construction
and demolition sites, from clinical, electronic and
industrial sources. The earth, our home, is begin-
ning to look more and more like an immense pile
of filth. In many parts of the planet, the elder-
ly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now
covered with rubbish. Industrial waste and chemi-
cal products utilized in cities and agricultural areas
can lead to bioaccumulation in the organisms of
the local population, even when levels of toxins in
those places are low. Frequently no measures are
taken until after people’s health has been irrevers-
ibly affected.

22. These problems are closely linked to a
throwaway culture which affects the excluded
just as it quickly reduces things to rubbish. To
cite one example, most of the paper we produce
is thrown away and not recycled. It is hard for us
to accept that the way natural ecosystems work
is exemplary: plants synthesize nutrients which
feed herbivores; these in turn become food for
carnivores, which produce significant quantities


of organic waste which give rise to new genera-
tions of plants. But our industrial system, at the
end of its cycle of production and consumption,
has not developed the capacity to absorb and
reuse waste and by-products. We have not yet
managed to adopt a circular model of produc-
tion capable of preserving resources for present
and future generations, while limiting as much
as possible the use of non-renewable resources,
moderating their consumption, maximizing their
efficient use, reusing and recycling them. A seri-
ous consideration of this issue would be one way
of counteracting the throwaway culture which
affects the entire planet, but it must be said that
only limited progress has been made in this re-

Climate as a common good

23. The climate is a common good, belonging
to all and meant for all. At the global level, it is a
complex system linked to many of the essential
conditions for human life. A very solid scientific
consensus indicates that we are presently witness-
ing a disturbing warming of the climatic system.
In recent decades this warming has been accom-
panied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it
would appear, by an increase of extreme weather
events, even if a scientifically determinable cause
cannot be assigned to each particular phenom-
enon. Humanity is called to recognize the need
for changes of lifestyle, production and con-
sumption, in order to combat this warming or at


least the human causes which produce or aggra-
vate it. It is true that there are other factors (such
as volcanic activity, variations in the earth’s orbit
and axis, the solar cycle), yet a number of scien-
tific studies indicate that most global warming in
recent decades is due to the great concentration
of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane,
nitrogen oxides and others) released mainly as a
result of human activity. As these gases build up
in the atmosphere, they hamper the escape of
heat produced by sunlight at the earth’s surface.
The problem is aggravated by a model of devel-
opment based on the intensive use of fossil fuels,
which is at the heart of the worldwide energy
system. Another determining factor has been an
increase in changed uses of the soil, principally
deforestation for agricultural purposes.

24. Warming has effects on the carbon cycle.
It creates a vicious circle which aggravates the
situation even more, affecting the availability of
essential resources like drinking water, energy
and agricultural production in warmer regions,
and leading to the extinction of part of the plan-
et’s biodiversity. The melting in the polar ice caps
and in high altitude plains can lead to the dan-
gerous release of methane gas, while the decom-
position of frozen organic material can further
increase the emission of carbon dioxide. Things
are made worse by the loss of tropical forests
which would otherwise help to mitigate climate


change. Carbon dioxide pollution increases the
acidification of the oceans and compromises the
marine food chain. If present trends continue,
this century may well witness extraordinary cli-
mate change and an unprecedented destruction
of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all
of us. A rise in the sea level, for example, can cre-
ate extremely serious situations, if we consider
that a quarter of the world’s population lives on
the coast or nearby, and that the majority of our
megacities are situated in coastal areas.

25. Climate change is a global problem with
grave implications: environmental, social, eco-
nomic, political and for the distribution of
goods. It represents one of the principal chal-
lenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst im-
pact will probably be felt by developing coun-
tries in coming decades. Many of the poor live in
areas particularly affected by phenomena related
to warming, and their means of subsistence are
largely dependent on natural reserves and eco-
systemic services such as agriculture, fishing and
forestry. They have no other financial activities
or resources which can enable them to adapt to
climate change or to face natural disasters, and
their access to social services and protection is
very limited. For example, changes in climate,
to which animals and plants cannot adapt, lead
them to migrate; this in turn affects the liveli-
hood of the poor, who are then forced to leave
their homes, with great uncertainty for their fu-


ture and that of their children. There has been a
tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to
flee from the growing poverty caused by envi-
ronmental degradation. They are not recognized
by international conventions as refugees; they
bear the loss of the lives they have left behind,
without enjoying any legal protection whatso-
ever. Sadly, there is widespread indifference to
such suffering, which is even now taking place
throughout our world. Our lack of response to
these tragedies involving our brothers and sisters
points to the loss of that sense of responsibility
for our fellow men and women upon which all
civil society is founded.

26. Many of those who possess more resources
and economic or political power seem mostly to
be concerned with masking the problems or con-
cealing their symptoms, simply making efforts to
reduce some of the negative impacts of climate
change. However, many of these symptoms indi-
cate that such effects will continue to worsen if
we continue with current models of production
and consumption. There is an urgent need to de-
velop policies so that, in the next few years, the
emission of carbon dioxide and other highly pol-
luting gases can be drastically reduced, for exam-
ple, substituting for fossil fuels and developing
sources of renewable energy. Worldwide there
is minimal access to clean and renewable energy.
There is still a need to develop adequate storage
technologies. Some countries have made consid-


erable progress, although it is far from constitut-
ing a significant proportion. Investments have
also been made in means of production and
transportation which consume less energy and
require fewer raw materials, as well as in methods
of construction and renovating buildings which
improve their energy efficiency. But these good
practices are still far from widespread.

ii. the issue of Water

27. Other indicators of the present situation
have to do with the depletion of natural resourc-
es. We all know that it is not possible to sustain
the present level of consumption in developed
countries and wealthier sectors of society, where
the habit of wasting and discarding has reached
unprecedented levels. The exploitation of the
planet has already exceeded acceptable limits and
we still have not solved the problem of poverty.

28. Fresh drinking water is an issue of primary
importance, since it is indispensable for human
life and for supporting terrestrial and aquatic
ecosystems. Sources of fresh water are necessary
for health care, agriculture and industry. Water
supplies used to be relatively constant, but now
in many places demand exceeds the sustainable
supply, with dramatic consequences in the short
and long term. Large cities dependent on signifi-
cant supplies of water have experienced periods
of shortage, and at critical moments these have
not always been administered with sufficient


oversight and impartiality. Water poverty espe-
cially affects Africa where large sectors of the
population have no access to safe drinking water
or experience droughts which impede agricultur-
al production. Some countries have areas rich in
water while others endure drastic scarcity.

29. One particularly serious problem is the
quality of water available to the poor. Every
day, unsafe water results in many deaths and the
spread of water-related diseases, including those
caused by microorganisms and chemical sub-
stances. Dysentery and cholera, linked to inad-
equate hygiene and water supplies, are a signif-
icant cause of suffering and of infant mortality.
Underground water sources in many places are
threatened by the pollution produced in certain
mining, farming and industrial activities, espe-
cially in countries lacking adequate regulation or
controls. It is not only a question of industrial

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