In his appearance during a joint session of Congress and at the United Nations, Pope Francis made it clear that it was time to address ecological issues facing our planet.
"A Christian who does not protect creation, who does not let it grow, is a Christian who does not care about the work of God; that work that was born from the love of God for us," Francis said. "And this is the first response to the first creation: protect creation, make it grow."
The pope, who took his name from St. Francis of Assisi: the patron saint of the animals and the environment, has made care for the environment a hallmark of his papacy since he was elected nearly two years ago.
His encyclical, Laudato Si’ (“Be praised” or “Praise be to you”)—a line from the Canticle of the Sun by St. Francis of Assisi, is particularly telling about his commitment to the environment. Several things make this document different. First, it is the only encyclical devoted to environmentalism. Secondly, virtually all encyclicals are addressed to the bishops of the Catholic Church. Instead, Pope Francis’ message is addressed to every person on the planet. This means, unlike any previous encyclical, only a minority of its intended audience is Catholic. (Catholics make up a little more than 1/7th of the seven billion people on the planet.)
Thirdly, encyclicals are usually more centered on Catholic doctrine. The first chapter is devoted to a summary of the various environmental problems Pope Francis sees the world facing, and his summary is based on scientific studies, rather than theological documents. The encyclical does not simply propose views that all are expected to accept on grounds of the pope’s religious authority. Instead, he invites the people of the world to a dialogue on the subject of environmentalism.
By raising his voice and concern for the environment, Pope Francis has rekindled the conversation and has inspired millions to think about our connection to the Earth, and one another. Like the pope, EcoSmart Designs has supported environmental issues from our inception. All of products are made of the finest lead-free, SafePewterTM brand material. We have a large variety of animal and environmental items, including our IN THE WILD, ANIMAL TRACKS and SEA LIFE series.