Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment make strong references to the scientific framework from which all Centre research departs. Photo: Catholic Church of England and Wales/Flickr

Encyclical on the environment

"Exploitation of the planet has already exceeded acceptable limits"

Pope’s encyclical well in line with centre’s vision and concern for future sustainability

Pope Francis' much anticipated encyclical on the environment entitled "Laudato Sii: on the care of our common home" have strong references to the scientific framework from which all centre research is based on.

The 180-page encyclical, which was released by the Vatican City 19 June 2015, goes a long way in acknowledging that current environmental change is caused by "unchecked human activity". Already in May 2015 the Pontifical Academy of Sciences used the term Anthropocene to describe the impact of human action on the planet.

"We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will," the Pope states in the encyclical. He urgently appeals for a "new dialogue" about how humans are shaping the future of our planet.

"We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all,” the encyclical states.

The Pope acknowledges that business as usual cannot continue and that there is a need to develop a better stewardship of the planet’s natural resources, within the boundaries of the planet.

"A technological and economic development which does not leave in its wake a better world and an integrally higher quality of life cannot be considered progress."

"The exploitation of the planet has already exceeded acceptable limits and we still have not solved the problem of poverty."

The encyclical also shares the Centre’s vision of reconnecting to the biosphere, particularly in light of grave financial and social inequalities.

"In different ways, developing countries, where the most important reserves of the biosphere are found, continue to fuel the development of the richer countries at the cost of their own present and future," the encyclical says.

Read the entire encyclical here

Published: 2015-06-18