Bishop Paul Sirba, ninth bishop of the Diocese of Duluth, released the following statement today marking the release of Laudato Si’, an encyclical by Pope Francis on “caring for our common home”:
Pope Francis has released his greatly anticipated encyclical Laudato Si’, which takes its name from the invocation of Saint Francis of Assisi — “Praise be to you, my Lord” — and reminds us all that the earth is our common home. The encyclical is developed around the concept of integral ecology, as a paradigm able to articulate the fundamental relationships of the person: with God, with oneself, with other human beings, with creation.
In our beautiful corner of God’s creation in northeastern Minnesota, the Holy Father’s words challenge us to confront threats to our “common home” from pollution, from waste, from the issue of water and from the “throwaway culture” and call us to respect human dignity and to hope for joy and peace based on the Gospel of Jesus.
Everyone’s actions matter, from in-home recycling to good stewardship with our precious natural resources in local mining, logging and unsurpassed recreation. The encyclical offers our world hope for change in dialogue, prayer and action.