Well, it’s been some time since I first started this latest Encyclical by Pope Francis but here is the long awaited second part of the my overview of the encyclical.
In chapter three the focus is on the Human root of the Ecological focus. Pope Francis talks about how the world has devolved thank in part to technology and the general blase nature of the human species. Humans thinking that all technology is good but Francis warns us as Uncle Ben told Peter Parker “With great power come great responsibility.” Many of us see nature as a gift that lacks any value other than what we can get from the Earth in terms of nature resources. Pope Francis warns us about Anthroposestrism as well saying that the human impact on nature also has moved to people as well. People are seen as a commodity that society can shrug off the deaths due to abortion and the neglect done to the poor, the aged, the young and those with disabilities. Francis isn’t advocating a return to the stone age but a step back to look at the problems that society needs to face which could in turn lead to a better healthier environment.
This leads us to chapter four where Francis focus on integral ecology. Emphasizes what he said in the last chapter by saying that “all things are connected” and pointing out that when we talk about the environment we speak about our relationship with nature. Francis goes on and on about the ecology of daily life saying that we should be living for the common good not for our own individual goods
In the fifth chapter we focus on the lines of approach and action, these are some suggestions that Pope Francis makes about what should be done. There are five general suggestions for dialogue on the environment in the international community and at the national and local levels, transparency in decision making, Politics and the economy should be focused on human fulfillment, and dialogue between religions and science. The dialogue on the international level is something that needs to be done on and it seems at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference there will be something happening perhaps some work to replace the Kyoto Protocol. His Holiness notes that every nation must recognize the sovereignty of other nations and work in cooperation for the common good of all people. These discussion on the international level should be used to direct discussion on the national and local levels. All these decisions need to be open to all people, the world needs to be more transparent place as it seems there are to many secrets going on especially in government around the world. We need the governments around the world to realize that human are not simply cogs that make the engine of the world work. Lastly Francis suggests that scientists and the religions of the world talk once in a while as well as scientists of different disciplines, the more open discussion about things like the environment should also lead the general population to start caring about the environment.
The sixth chapter is about Ecological education and spirituality. It turns the discussion to the individual and says that individuals can make a difference in small ways.. The Encyclical then end with a prayer for our earth asking the Lord to pour down upon us his love and peace so that we can protect life and live in harmony with out brothers and sisters across the globe.
I hope that when Pope Francis addresses the United States congress he gives them some sort of lecture on the environment, and that something can happen on the international level since the Kyoto Protocol is a nice step but it would be nice to see a larger scale effort that included the United States as a member of the agreement.