Pope Francis writing a second environmental document after Laudato Si’

August 22, 2023

Pope Francis announced during an audience with lawyers Monday that he is writing a second part to his 2015 environmental encyclical Laudato Si’.

The pope said with this new writing he is updating Laudato Si’ to cover current issues.

The Holy See Press Office Director, Matteo Bruni, confirmed to CNA Aug. 21 that “the pope is working on a letter updating Laudato Si’ with regard to the recent environmental crises.” He could not provide any information on when the letter will be released.

Pope Francis made the statement about an update to Laudato Si’ on the morning of Aug. 21 at the end of a speech to lawyers from the Council of Europe member states that signed the Vienna Declaration on the Support of the Rule of Law in 2022.

Pope Francis told the lawyers he is sensitive to their care for the common home and commitment to the development of regulatory frameworks for environmental protection.

“We must never forget that the younger generations are entitled to receive from us a beautiful and livable world and that this invests us with grave duties towards the creation we have received from God’s generous hands,” he said.

Laudato Si’ is the second of three encyclicals published in Pope Francis’ pontificate thus far. It was released in June 2015.

The title, which means “Praise be to you,” was taken from St. Francis of Assisi’s medieval Italian prayer “Canticle of the Sun,” which praises God through elements of creation like Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and “our Sister Mother Earth.”

The theme of the encyclical is human ecology, a phrase first used by Pope Benedict XVI. The document addresses issues such as climate change, care for the environment, and the defense of human life and dignity.

In Laudato Si’, Francis wrote that human ecology implies the profound reality of “the relationship between human life and the moral law, which is inscribed in our nature and is necessary for the creation of a more dignified environment.”

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