Vatican sources have indicated that Laudato si’ – named after words of St Francis of Assisi in his Canticle of the Creatures and published today – is a deliberate intervention in the debate over climate change in the run-up to three major UN summits, including that in Paris in December, where 196 countries will meet to sign a new agreement.
The Pope’s words are addressed not only to Catholics but to everyone, including governments and businesses who can make decisions that will limit global warming.
The document makes it clear that Pope Francis is shifting Catholic theology away from a human-centred concept of life towards a more planet-centred idea. “We are not God. The earth was here before us and it has been given to us.”