Pope Francis issued an encyclical on the environment named “Laudato Si [Praise Be], On the Care of Our Common Home” on Thursday. It’s the first papal document dedicated to the environment and in it the Pope called for “decisive action, here and now” to prevent environmental harm and global warming, backing scientists who argue these are man-made problems.
One of the major themes of the encyclical is the global disparity of wealth. In the encyclical, Francis urged rich countries to change their lifestyles and put and end to a “throwaway” consumer culture. He also called on them to end “obstructionist attitudes,” which put profit before the common good.
Francis criticised those who "maintain that current economics and technology will solve all environmental problems, and argue, in popular and non-technical terms, that the problems of global hunger and poverty will be resolved simply by market growth."
Pope Francis’ papal pronouncement has been considered as one of the most controversial in half a century and has already caused the displeasure of conservatives, including some US Republican presidential candidates.
However, Pope Francis - Latin America’s first pope - argues protecting the planet is both a moral and ethical “imperative” for believers and nonbelievers.