This document is intended to provide a brief summary of the key points of Laudate Deum, including quotations and practical ways for you, your Diocese, or other institutions to respond. Of course, no summary can represent the full depth and breadth of the exhortation. The complete document is available here.
Key point: To truly praise God the Creator, we must recognize our role in the climate crisis and hold ourselves responsible for our impact on all creation.
- “Praise God” is the title of this letter. For when human beings claim to take God’s place, they become their own worst enemies. (LD 73)
- “I cannot fail in this regard to remind the Catholic faithful of the motivations born of their faith [which] sheds light on our relationship to others and with creation as a whole.” (LD 61)
- “This is a global social issue and one intimately related to the dignity of human life.”(LD 3)
- “If ‘the universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely… there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face’. The world sings of an infinite Love: how can we fail to care for it?” (LD 65)
How to respond: Ensure members of your community are enrolled in LSM’s eco-conversion alerts to receive monthly prayer guides and other resources.
Key point: Laudate Deum deepens our sense that climate change represents a profound injustice. We are called to prophetically denounce it.
- “Despite all attempts to deny, conceal, gloss over or relativize the issue, the signs of climate change are here and increasingly evident.” (LD 5)
- “We are now unable to halt the enormous damage we have caused. We barely have time to prevent even more tragic damage.” (LD 16)
- “I feel obliged to make these clarifications, which may appear obvious, because of certain dismissive and scarcely reasonable opinions that I encounter, even within the Catholic Church.” (LD 14)
Key point: A tidal change in our spiritual and cultural paradigm is needed. To honor the Creator God, Who created us as custodians of creation, we must never elevate power and profit above care for our neighbors, but rather make the changes that are necessary to heal the climate crisis.
- “There are no lasting changes without cultural changes, without a maturing of lifestyles and convictions within societies, and there are no cultural changes without personal changes.” (LD 70)
- “Everything that exists ceases to be a gift for which we should be thankful, esteem and cherish, and instead becomes a slave, prey to any whim of the human mind and its capacities.” (LD 22)
- “Human beings must be recognized as a part of nature. Human life, intelligence and freedom are elements of the nature that enriches our planet, part of its internal workings and its equilibrium.” (LD 26)
- “The world sings of an infinite Love: how can we fail to care for it?” (LD 65)
How to respond: Join the Laudato Si’ Movement by subscribing for online updates and consider joining the Laudato Si’ Animators program to support your “ecological conversion” journey with fellow Catholics from all continents.
Key point: We must dig for no new fossil fuels and make an immediate switch to renewable energy.
- “Fossil fuels still provide 80% of the world’s energy, and their use continues to increase.” (LD 50)
- “Gas and oil companies are planning new projects… with the aim of further increasing their production… [It] would be suicidal, for it would mean exposing all humanity, especially the poorest, to the worst impacts of climate change”. (LD 53)
- “The necessary transition towards clean energy sources such as wind and solar energy, and the abandonment of fossil fuels, is not progressing at the necessary speed.” (LD 55)
How to respond: Change your bank, as mainstream banks provide the funding that allows fossil fuel companies to continue drilling. Divest from fossil fuels, the main drivers of the climate crisis. Sign the Fossil Fuel Nonproliferation Treaty, which aims to pressure international negotiations and phase out fossil fuels altogether.
Key point: Pope Francis makes a prophetic denunciation of the insufficient effort to address the climate crisis, with a special focus on the UN climate talks and this year’s negotiation, known as COP28. He encourages us to not let another COP pass without taking the audacious decisions that challenge the fossil fuel industry’s monopoly on power.
- “International negotiations cannot make significant progress due to positions taken by countries which place their national interests above the global common good.” (LD 52)
- “Despite the many negotiations and agreements, global emissions continue to increase.” (LD 55)
- “If there is sincere interest in making COP28 a historic event that honours and ennobles us as human beings, then one can only hope for binding forms of energy transition that meet three conditions: that they be efficient, obligatory and readily monitored.” (LD 59)
How to respond: Sign the Fossil Fuel Nonproliferation Treaty, which aims to pressure international negotiations and phase out fossil fuels altogether.
Key point: We as people of faith can cooperate in the building of a better future, where the good gifts of Creation are abundant and shared by all, as God intended. This is key to solving the climate crisis.
- “I ask everyone to accompany this pilgrimage of reconciliation with the world that is our home and to help make it more beautiful.” (LD 69)
- “Nonetheless, every little bit helps, and avoiding an increase of a tenth of a degree in the global temperature would already suffice to alleviate some suffering for many people.” (LD 70)
- “Civil society with its organizations is capable of creating effective dynamics that the United Nations cannot.” (LD 37)
- “The demands that rise up from below throughout the world, where activists from very different countries help and support one another, can end up pressuring the sources of power.” (LD 38)
How to respond: Enroll your institution (Diocese, parish, school, or other) in the Laudato Si’ Action Platform to create a holistic sustainability plan. Sponsor or join a Laudato Si’ Circle or Chapter to join forces with local ecological organizations in your area.