Pope Francis’ much anticipated environmental encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ [Praised Be] quotes the New Zealand Catholic Bishops’ statement on the environment published in 2006, and amplifies the cry of the poor and the earth.
“We are humbled to have been quoted [para #95] as Pope Francis echoes our comments that the environment is a collective good and the responsibility of all of us, and that the overconsumption of resources by the rich robs poor nations and future generations of what they need to survive,” said Cardinal John Dew, president of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference shortly after the document was released.
“With the theme of ‘care for our common home’, Pope Francis addresses this message to everyone in the world. He describes us as one human family and acknowledges all those who have advocated for addressing these issues and as such have contributed to this body of thought,” said Cardinal John Dew on behalf of the New Zealand Bishops.
“Heard clearly throughout the document is a call to all those who live on this planet to heed these words,” said Cardinal Dew.
“Emphasising urgency throughout, he describes the environmental issues evident throughout the globe as today’s reality not a problem for tomorrow and calls for bold solutions that are mindful of what will be left for future generations,” he said.
“It is a consistent message about life – the whole planet and all that inhabits the earth, stating that all things within our common home are interrelated including the most fragile ecosystems, creatures and human beings as well as children eliminated because they are unwanted or inconvenient.
“True to his style – hope is a theme throughout, reminding us that all is not lost for humanity is capable of transformation and creating the necessary solutions to these challenges.”
“The Bishops look forward to studying and reflecting on the message and engaging in dialogue with politicians, our own parishes and schools, and the wider community. We invite everyone to read these words.”
The encyclical contains two prayers: one for Christian believers and one for all those who believe in a God who is creator.