Pope Francis touches the sky with his Laudato si´encyclical

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laudato-si-enLast Thursday 18 May was released in the City Vatican the encyclical letter Laudato si´ on the care of our common home, by the pope Francis.

This pope´s statement may cause you a sort of confusion, surprise, leave you speechless. In this case, you won´t be the only one.

Since the 1970 decade, climate change is an issue bringing a growing scientific, politic and economic discussion [1] until now, when it has become a major global priority.

It is not that the catholic Church didn´t define its position regarding the Earth´s environment before. The Bergoglio´s encyclical itself refers to a number of previous statements on the issue made by preceding popes. However, the Church didn´t deal with it by means of such a high-ranked document –an encyclical is second in importance only to the highest ranking document now issued by popes, an Apostolic Constitution [2]- and with the impact brought by this letter. The encyclical Laudato si´ adds a new and influential actor to the forefront of the discussion on the planet´s environment: this actor is the Church, which joins the position of the majority of experts and scientists that meets its ultimate expression in the IPCC reports on climate change (Intergubernamental Panel on Climate Change) [3]

So, don´t expect throughout the Laudato si´ encyclical any scientific finding nor divine miracles enlightening the poor mind of many politicians and powerful people, but the incorporation of a new actor which may make a milestone in the development model of humankind.

[…] the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good […]

Pope Francis, Laudato si´, 188 [4]

This is all about not only of the Church impact in number of followers –1.254 millions, according to the official Vatican reports [5]-, but also about the influence of the Church in the culture, traditions, principles and essential values of many states and organizations around the world. This is a new scenario -in qualitative and quantitative terms- that the main policy and economy makers will face, many of whom are, at least, surprised in this very moment. We will see how do they address their noisy silences and ridiculous bravados.

When the Church made any statement supporting fair causes meeting a broad consensus -as is the case of the environment of the planet- it is very common to be argued that the Church itself should lead by example. And that´s right. However, in this case, the pope Francis can do very few thinks more for the Earth´s environment. Maybe he could try to reduce the atmospheric emissions of the black and white smoke in the next papal conclave, or to plant more trees along the 44 hectares of the Vatican City… 😉

Thanks to his encyclical letter Laudato si´, Bergoglio touches the sky.

[1] ARAGON VALLEY. 19 Jul 2013. Los pioneros del cambio climático. http://www.aragonvalley.com/aragon-valley-classics-los-pioneros-del-cambio-climatico/#comment-22854. Consulted 23 Jun 2015. 
[2] WIKIPEDIA. 20 Jun 2015. Encyclical. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encyclical. Consulted 23 Jun 2015. 
[3] ARAGON VALLEY. 8 Oct 2013. La influencia humana en el clima, aquella idea freaky de 1976…. http://www.aragonvalley.com/la-influencia-humana-en-el-clima-aquella-idea-frikies-en-1976/ 
. Consulted 23 Jun 2015.
[4] JORGE MARIO BERGOGLIO (POPE FRANCISCO). 2015. Encyclical letter Laudado Si´ on the care of the common home. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 188.
[5] BOLLETINO DELLA SANTA SEDE. 16 Apr 2015). L’Annuario Pontificio 2015 e l’ “Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae” 2013. http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2015/04/16/0277/00616.html. Consulted 23 Jun 2015.