In a written analysis, Redemptorist Father Dennis J. Billy, who holds the John Cardinal Krol Chair of Moral Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, offered his thoughts about the encyclical:
· Pope Francis’s new encyclical is rather lengthy and will take some time to digest. These are only some initial reactions after an initial perusal.
· The encyclical deserves a careful reading and analysis.
· We must try not to give into “sound bites” or hasty caricatures.
· After a first read, I see nothing substantially new in magisterial teaching.
· The pope seeks to place his teaching in continuity with the Church’s social teaching.
· He does so by appealing to the writings of his predecessors, especially John XXIII, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.
· He quotes significantly from documents published by various episcopal conferences.
· The pope wishes to emphasize the moral consequences of climate change and challenges us to find concrete way of tackling the problem.
· He connects climate change, at least in part, to a rampant consumerism that is a result of unbridled capitalism.
· He emphasizes the devastating effects that neglect of the environment has on those who are most vulnerable, especially the poor and marginalized.
· He encourages dialogue on all levels, especially among nations and emphasizes the earth as the common possession of all humanity.
· He emphasizes our role as stewards of God’s creation.
· He does not call for a “quick fix,” but would like to see us taking solid incremental steps at solving the problem.
· As an encyclical, the pope’s teaching is part of the Church’s social magisterium and deserves of the religious submission of will and intellect (obsequium religiosum) of all Catholics.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103