Why the Pope’s New Climate Letter Matters for Everyone

Pope Francis recently released an apostolic exhortation called Laudate Deum. What is it? What does it mean for the climate crisis? What does it mean for us all?


I am not a Catholic but I value the brave statements the Pope made. Speaking boldly the truth of unpleasant and politically somewhat tense subjects demands courage and most of us Christians either do not have that courage or do not care enough. Church leaders tend to be silent to not stir negative responses among the church members - if you stay silent, then differing opinions are less likely to divide the church or drive some people away. Speaking boldly the unpleasant truth is a brave act from any church leader.


Pope Francis is the most ecumenically and ecologically minded Pope I have known in my lifetime. Although a Jesuit his choosing of his papal name is fully in accord with the Franciscan tradition of concern for all people and life and the connection between the spiritual and the material, not to be seen as opposites but joined together. There is much that he writes and preaches most of the time that more socially minded evangelicals and protestants can agree and should act on. Salvation for the world is more than individual hope of heaven. It does involve personal and political lifestyle choices and far more than issues of sexuality and reproductive laws that much of the modern church seems to be fixated on.