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.