Henry Longbottom SJ is a member of a Roman Catholic religious order known as the Jesuits (to which Pope Francis belongs) and is currently studying for the priesthood. He is actively involved in London Mining Network.
When I became a Catholic seven years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I expect the appearance of an official church teaching document (an “encyclical”) dealing with the moral duty to combat climate change, a respect for the intrinsic value of all creation, and the need for solidarity with victims of global inequality.
A thinly veiled piece of climate alarmist propaganda. A groundbreaking exposition of Catholic ecological thinking. Well intentioned but economically naïve. A slippery slope towards extremist environmentalist positions.
Such are the reactions to Pope Francis’s ecology encyclical — and it hasn’t even been published yet. Nevertheless Vatican sources have confirmed that the encyclical will appear sometime this month. It is reported that it will bear the title “Laudato Sii” (Praised Be), a quotation from a St. Francis’s prayer praising God for creation.