Laudate Deum

Publish date 13-12-2023

by Domenico Agasso

"The world is crumbling and is approaching a breaking point. We are just in time to avoid even more dramatic damage." In the Laudate Deum (Praise God) Pope Francis encourages states to battle against the climate crisis, hoping that the "COP28 in Dubai" environmental conference will lead to a decisive acceleration of the energy transition. The Pontiff writes an observation that sounds like a strong and clearly directed jab: «If we consider that per capita emissions in the United States are approximately double those of an inhabitant of China and approximately seven times greater than the average of the poorest countries, we can say that a widespread change in the irresponsible lifestyle linked to the Western model would have a significant long-term impact." And he challenges the theses of deniers, speaking of "contemptuous and unreasonable opinions", which are felt "even within the Church". On October 4, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, the Pontiff published the apostolic exhortation which integrates, eight years later, the encyclical Laudato si'.

In the new letter on ecology he denounces the lack of interest of the economic powers. He says enough to those who ridicule the topic. And he defends «"radicalized" groups», such as Ultima Generazione: «They occupy a void in society as a whole, which should exert healthy pressure, because it is up to every family to think that the future of their children is at stake». An invitation to individuals, therefore, to make their daily actions virtuous.

The bishop of Rome maintains that «what happens in any part of the world has repercussions on the entire planet. Everything is connected, and no one is saved alone." Furthermore, the Pope highlights "that the most effective solutions will not only come from individual efforts, but above all from the great decisions of national and international politics", the latter defined by Bergoglio as too "weak". And so the Pontiff asks to reconfigure and "democratize" multilateralism, which should be formed "from below", without any more "institutions that preserve only the power of the strongest".

Francis warns against denialism: "No matter how much we try to deny them, hide them, conceal them or relativize them, the signs of climate change are there, more and more evident". And the «human – “anthropic” – origin of climate change can no longer be doubted», therefore Bergoglio criticizes the richest countries, since «the climate crisis is not strictly an issue that interests the great economic powers, which they are concerned with obtaining the maximum profit at the lowest cost and in the shortest time possible".

Domenico Agasso
NP November 2023

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