The full title of Pope Francis’s encyclical is Encyclical Letter Laudati Si’ of the Holy Father Francis on Care for our Common Home. In the first of 246 paragraphs he quotes a beautiful canticle, from Saint Francis of Assisi:
- “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.
Then in paragraph two:
- This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible 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).