Highlighting the Franciscan Character of ‘Laudato Si’

Dating God

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This is an article that originally appeared at America magazine simultaneously with the release of the Encyclical Laudato Si. For full coverage and additional commentary, visit America’s commentary page. For the full text of the encyclical, visit the Vatican website.

Perhaps it is no accident that, after opening his encyclical letter “Laudato Si’” with a quote from St. Francis of Assisi’s famous Canticle of the Creatures, Pope Francis cites Pope St. John XXIII’s encyclical “Pacem in Terris” (1963) as the model for his audience of “all people” (no. 3). Shortly after “Pacem in Terris” was published, the renowned Trappist monk and author Fr. Thomas Merton wrote an article commenting on the text, stating that, “the whole climate of the encyclical [Pacem in Terris], in its love of man and of the world, and in its radiant hopefulness, is Franciscan.” Now we are privileged to witness…

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