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Papal Encyclical

What did accomplish in 2015? More than 500 columns and around 100 news articles were published, written by more than 150 unique contributors from 23 U.S. states and nine countries. Included in these numbers are 27 articles about the global refugee crisis, 22 articles reflecting on church trends, 13 articles related to religious liberty, […] Read More

Thirty-one percent of all U.S. citizens and 40 percent of U.S. Roman Catholics have heard about Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology. Released in mid-June, “Laudato Si” was largely overshadowed by the tragic church shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, which took place the night before the document’s release and was followed by debates regarding Confederate flag […] Read More

I have taken notice of the subtle shifts in environment since I was last in the mountains of northern New Mexico during a recent weeklong Sabbath observance. Some may say that five years is much too short a time to measure; I was last here in 2010. True, but perhaps I am paying more attention […] Read More

Moral certitude was in no short supply among Baptists in the United States following the shooting deaths in an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, with the subsequent flash debate over the Confederate flag. The same holds true for the reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Righteousness and outrage ruled the moment […] Read More

The recent papal encyclical, subtitled “On Care for our Common Home,” invites the global church and other interested persons of good will to consider what is at stake in the deterioration of the environment, especially the human roots of the ecological crisis. The rich teaching tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, expressly drawing from the […] Read More

I live barely three miles from the sea. In plain view of our home are the highest tides in the world, often cresting at 55 feet. In recent years, we have watched the raising of dyke embankments, first constructed by the Acadians, by seven to 10 feet to arrest the encroaching waters. I read widely […] Read More

One question seems to be at the heart of Pope Francis’s encyclical: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those whom come after us, to children who are now growing up?” (section 160). The encyclical does not have to do with the environment alone because the issue cannot simply be approached piecemeal. […] Read More

Pope Francis called for all people, and especially believers, to “take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us” (section 244) in his recently released encyclical on creation care. Francis’ vision is a call to practical action, personal ecological conversion and lifestyle change. How might our congregations engage creation care more intentionally? We […] Read More

Some forms of moral reasoning in “Laudato Si” are unsurprising. A sketch of the efficiency of recycling in the food chain is deployed as a natural law argument against wasteful human living in section 22; the climate (section 23) and creation (section 156-7) are defined as “common goods;” and the dignity of all human beings […] Read More

Pope Francis has written an exhaustive encyclical to all the churches of the Roman Catholic communion, “Laudato si’, mi’ Signore” (Praise be to you, my Lord). He affirms that all species give glory to God, who cares for each one (Luke 12:6, Matthew 6:26). The pope recognizes the seriousness of the global environmental crisis and […] Read More