The 13 Most Radical Lines From the Pope's Climate Encyclical - Rolling Stone
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The 13 Most Radical Lines From the Pope’s Climate Encyclical

In his widely anticipated environmental treatise, the pope slams the “throwaway culture” that has helped turn our planet to “rubbish”

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Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment was released Thursday.

Franco Origlia/Getty

Invoking his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, and his reverence for God’s creation — “our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains us” — Pope Francis has published a long-awaited environmental treatise, calling the Christian faithful to action on climate change, clean water and sustainable development, while blasting the developed world’s “throwaway culture” and the corrosive effects of “denial,” “indifference” and “resignation.”

The document is being heralded as a potential game-changer that could influence millions of Catholics around the world.

Here the 13 most radical lines from Pope Francis’ new encyclical, “On Care for Our Common Home.”

1. “We require a new and universal solidarity.”

2. “The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.”

3. “Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming…”

4. “…sin is manifest in all its destructive power in…the abandonment of the most vulnerable, and attacks on nature.”

5. “These problems are closely linked to a throwaway culture which affects the excluded just as it quickly reduces things to rubbish.”

6. “Because of us, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence, nor convey their message to us. We have no such right.”

7. “We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay.”

8. “Many of those who possess more resources and economic or political power seem mostly to be concerned with masking the problems or concealing their symptoms…”

9. “Young people demand change. They wonder how anyone can claim to be building a better future without thinking of the environmental crisis and the sufferings of the excluded.”

10. “Reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility, above all on the part of those countries which are more powerful and pollute the most.”

11. “Inequity affects not only individuals but entire countries; it compels us to consider an ethics of international relations. A true ‘ecological debt’ exists, particularly between the global north and south…”

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

13. “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.”

In This Article: Climate Change, Environment


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