Pope Francis has released a readable, straightforward papal letter on the need for all “people of good will” to take on the challenge of mitigating climate change. Image: Jeffrey Bruno/Aleteia, CreativeCommons.org/LICENSES/BY-SA/2.0/LEGALCODE

On June 18, 2015, the Vatican released Laudato Si (Be Praised): On Care for Our Common Home, a comprehensive and remarkably plain-spoken summary of the environmental and social ills facing humanity. According to the encyclical, “There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy.”

Religious leaders from all major religions have praised Pope Francis’ message (see, for example, the Time article at ti.me/1JdZ2ZJ). The pope’s pastoral letter, the boldest environmental signal to date from the Roman Catholic Church, calls on all people of conscience to take up climate change as a moral imperative.

As the Reverend Canon Sally G. Bingham, president and founder of Interfaith Power and Light, put it, “The impact of [the Pope’s] message is clear:

If you are person of faith, you have a responsibility to address climate change. It’s as simple as that.”

For more on Interfaith Power and Light, go to interfaithpowerandlight.org.

For the text of Laudato Si, see bit.ly/1dZgcfS.

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