Pope Francis addresses all people of goodwill on the climate crisis in his new Apostolic Exhortation, Laudate Deum (Praise God), released on 4 October, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, because “when human beings claim to take God’s place, they become their own worst enemies.” (LD 73)
This brief video provides key points of Laudate Deum.
The first chapter, The Global Climate Crisis, warns that climate change is undeniable, and its effects are becoming increasingly evident “(d)espite all attempts to deny, conceal, gloss over, or relativize the issue.” (LD 5) He further regrets that the main cause of this problem is human activity and adds that while we cannot correct such damage, we can still take steps to prevent even more serious damage in the future.
In the second chapter, A Growing Technocratic Paradigm, Pope Francis stresses that nature is not a resource to be exploited without end and urges us “to rethink…the question of human power, its meaning and its limits.” (LD 28)
In the third chapter, The Weakness of International Politics, current and past approaches are recognized as insufficient and ineffective and there is an urgent need for “increased ;democratization” in the global context. (LD 43)
In the fourth chapter, the Pope reflects on Climate Conferences: Progress and Failures and asks that the selfish positions of countries be overcome for the benefit of the global common good. (LD 44, 52)
And in the fifth chapter, What to Expect from COP28 in Dubai?, Pope Francis shares a hope that binding forms of energy transition be “efficient, obligatory, and readily monitored.” (LD 59) He also appeals to those taking part in COP28 to “be strategists capable of considering the common good and the future of their children, more than the short-term interests of certain countries or businesses. In this way, may they demonstrate the nobility of politics and not its shame. To the powerful, I can only repeat this question: What would induce anyone, at this stage, to hold on to power, only to be remembered for their inability to take action when it was urgent and necessary to do so?” (LD 60)
In the last chapter, Spiritual Motivations, people of all religions are called to respond and Catholics are reminded that in the light of faith, there is a responsibility to care for God’s creation. This implies a respect for the laws of nature and recognition of the beauty and richness of God’s creation.
Finally, Pope Francis invites all to “accompany this pilgrimage of reconciliation with the world that is our home.” (LD 69)
Pope Francis speaks about the significance of Laudate Deum and asks to “end the senseless war on our common home” in this special video message.
The entire text of Laudate Deum can be accessed here.