When graduating seniors at Santa Clara University, in Santa Clara, Calif., bid farewell June 13 to their alma mater, many will have signed onto a pledge to carry their school’s social and environmental consciousness into their future careers.
Pope Francis' upcoming encyclical on ecology and climate is expected to send a strong moral message -- one message that could make some readers uncomfortable, some observers say.
"The encyclical will address the issue of inequality in the distribution of resources and topics such as the wasting of food and the irresponsible exploitation of nature and the consequences for people's life and health," Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru, told Catholic News Service.
Even before the papal encyclical on the climate crisis appears, it is having an effect in religious communities beyond the Catholic church. More than 300 rabbis have signed a rabbinic letter on the climate crisis, calling for vigorous action to prevent worsening climate disruption and to seek "eco-social justice."
Georgetown University is cutting coal from its $1.5 billion endowment, after its board of directors passed a resolution Thursday to cease all current and future direct investments.
The decision came after a more than yearlong conversation at the Washington, D.C.-based university, one largely prompted by students concerned with connecting the school’s Jesuit roots with the issue of climate change. It is the second U.S. Catholic college to divest from fossil fuels in some capacity, after the University of Dayton made the move last June.
The encyclical reportedly will be called "Laudato Sii," a quotation from a popular prayer of St. Francis of Assisi praising God for the Earth.
Eco Catholic: Climate action is becoming a growing moral imperative for all people of faith. Why? Because climate action is about saving people.
With its release, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment will be the first such document to focus exclusively on issues of ecology and humans’ place within and relationship with God’s creation.
While Francis’ document has sparked renewed interest in this area, Catholics have a history of valuing creation. Its care is one of the strands of Catholic social teaching -- along with maintaining the dignity of all people, the common good, and peace and reconciliation -- present across the fabric of our history.
Eco Catholic: It's no secret: Americans are conflicted on climate change. What explains this disconnect on climate?
Update: The head of the Vatican publishing house said the anticipated environmental document is set for release June 16.
Editor's Note: Later this summer, Pope Francis will release his encyclical on the environment and human ecology. The highly anticipated teaching document will be the first from a pope to focus specifically on creation and human relationship with it.