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Pope Francis has called for "a bold cultural revolution" that will sweep away consumerism, myths about unlimited economic growth and the desire to constantly maximize profits. Human activities based on those habits and beliefs are destroying the planet, the pope said in his encyclical Laudato Si', On Care for Our Common Home, dated May 24, Pentecost Sunday, and released at the Vatican June 18.
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Alberta religious, environmental, industry and Aboriginal leaders hailed Pope Francis encyclical on the environment as a positive contribution to saving the planet. While some called it a guidepost for the energy industry, others greeted it as a call to a new lifestyle reflective of our duties to God, neighbour and nature. In the letter, the pope cites a solid scientific consensus indicating that global warming is real, and will limit drinking water, harm agriculture, lead to some extinctions of plant and animal life, acidify oceans and raise sea levels in a way that could flood some of the world's biggest cities.
An outdoor Mass on the Hill celebrating the 150th anniversary of Catholic education in St. Albert highlighted the "timeless" faith that has remained constant in the midst of dramatic change. Some 6,000 students from across the Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools division sitting on the historic Mission Hill June 11 listened as Archbishop Richard Smith reflected on the various changes – both dramatic and incidental – in society that have taken place in the past 150 years.<
One might wonder how the women of the Gospel, especially those who stood beneath the Cross of Jesus, might live out that devotion on earth today. Those women at the foot of the cross are the inspiration that drew Madame Marie Madeleine d'Houët, a mother and wife, to establish the Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus, founded on Holy Thursday 1820 in France.
The growth of technology has led to an "ironclad logic" that diminishes human freedom and the human capacity for making decisions, Pope Francis wrote in the third chapter of his new encyclical Laudato Si', On Care for Our Common Home. New policies, ways of education, lifestyles and even spirituality are needed to resist the "technological paradigm" for societal decision-making that has become so dominant that it has become "inconceivable" to consider alternatives, the pope says.
VATICAN CITY – Religious freedom, the conflict in Ukraine and the environment were on the table as Pope Francis met briefly June 11 with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The prime minister's office said their discussions also included reference to the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which detailed the treatment of Aboriginal children in residential schools supported by the Canadian government but administered by religious organizations, including the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis' encyclical The Light of Faith (LF) obviously presents faith as a light which illuminates realities, enabling the believer to see and understand them. This light, the pope says, "is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence" (LF4). It is a light that does not come from ourselves because it is a light that shows us reality, not some figment of our own imagination.