Caring for creation

Caring for creation is central to Pope Francis’ papacy

  • Pope Francis leads vespers for the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation at the Vatican Sept. 1. (CNS/Maurizio Brambatti, EPA)
 |  Making a Difference

As the first pope in history to write an encyclical letter on the environment, Pope Francis demonstrated the urgent importance of caring for God’s creation to the Catholic church and the world.

But Francis’ challenging green encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home,” was but the first major initiative of a papacy significantly dedicated to teaching us to care for both humanity and the earth — which he insists are intimately connected to each other — “integral ecology.”

The Holy Father’s next major environmental step was establishing the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, celebrated every first day of September.

In this year’s Sept 1 message titled “Show Mercy to our Common Home,” Pope Francis highlights, along with Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, “the moral and spiritual crisis at the root of environmental problems.”