One of the most awaited papal encyclicals in recent history is going to take place on Thursday, with Pope Francis expected to finally involve the Catholic Church into the debate regarding climate change.
Pope Francis’s encyclical – an official announcement made by popes under the form of a letter – will allegedly transform environmental protection into a moral imperative for all of the faithful, mainly based on how climate change and overconsumption make matters worse for the poor. The argument is not a surprise considering that poverty is still running rampant throughout Francis’ natal Argentina and most of Latin America.
However, the Holy See will not stop at only offering its stance on the subject, as Pope Francis wishes that the document – entitled “Be Praised, On the Care of Our Common Home” also be discussed in an upcoming major UN summit on the topic of climate change which will be held in Paris near the end of 2015.
The scope of the encyclical is also meant to surpass the Catholic faith and be an actual worldwide appeal for limiting climate change, as the Pope claimed during an address in Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square which he held on Friday for thousands of attendants. This way, the papal announcement is expected to spark renewed awareness regarding the degradation of our environment.
Reuters also cites sources who are familiar with the actual text of the encyclical which disclosed that the pope will also criticize the “throwaway lifestyle” of richer countries such as the U.S., and will call for a reconsideration of how it involuntarily affects the poor.
Ambassadors from over 170 countries were informed by Vatican authorities that Pope Francis will also hold a private briefing after the public address, with some of them stating that they are to hand the briefing’s text to their governments immediately.
With over 1.2 billion people of Catholic faith worldwide, the address is eagerly awaited by environmental activists as it might prompt a more active approach from the masses in forcing lawmakers to adopt more policies regarding environmental protection. The encyclical will also have as one of its main points the role which humans play in Earth’s climate change, a topic which is intensely debated among opinion groups throughout the world. It will probably acknowledge and condemn the role that humans play in it, as an April conference hold with UN leaders and scientists at the Vatican saw a similar outcome in acknowledging man-made climate change as a fact.
Image Source: IB Times