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Former president Mary Robinson is very happy with the Pope

The pope says earth is beginning to look more like an “immense pile of filth”.

Image: Photocall/PA

TODAY SEES THE release of a papal encyclical, Laudato Si (“Praised Be”) on behalf of Pope Francis and it may turn out to be the most radical publication yet released by the Vatican.

In the release Pope Francis outlines what he see as the steps that must be taken to arrest the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem”.

While the contention that the Pope is making some powerful new enemies has been made, reception to the encyclical has been very positive, with no less a luminary than former Irish president Mary Robinson calling it “a call for climate justice from one of the most influential moral voices on our planet today” this morning.

Pope Francis’ Twitter feed gave some insights into just how passionate the pontiff is on the matter:

“In it Pope Francis shows his profound understanding of the connection between nature, justice for people living in poverty, human dignity and the need to act in solidarity in the face of climate change,” said Mary Robinson.

Above all else, Pope Francis establishes climate change and safeguarding the earth for humanity as the moral issue of our time.

One Young World Dublin. Ma Mary Robinson Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

I am heartened that he places equal emphasis on our responsibility to care for people living in vulnerable situations as our responsibility to care for nature.

In Laudato Si Pope Francis denounces wholly the destruction of the earth’s natural resources by the rich and powerful (both economically and politically) as “sinful”

The encyclical has only just been officially released – however it was initially leaked three days ago.

Other voices have been no less enthusiastic than Mary Robinson’s.

Germany Security Conference Kofi Annan Source: Matthias Schrader

Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan said that “we need more of such inspired leadership”.

I applaud the Pope for his strong moral and ethical leadership.
As he reaffirms, climate change is an all-encompassing threat: it is a threat to our security, our health, and our sources of fresh water and food.

Archbishop Eamon Martin meanwhile welcomed the encyclical, saying that it is “good news for the Universal Church, and the whole world”.

“Pope Francis urges us to reflect on our Christian responsibility of not closing our eyes to the suffering of those who are most exposed to the consequences of environmental degradation. These are invariably the poorest communities and those who contribute least to the destruction of the natural environment,” Martin said.

Archbishop in Stormont abortion row Eamon Martin Source: Niall Carson

Speaking in a review for the Irish National Trust, An Taisce, Professor John Sweeney and Fr Sean MacDonagh called the encyclical “highly relevant to Ireland”.

“It is a stark reminder that climate change mitigation should not simply involve an economist-centred approach, but one that reflects the global as well as local interests of climate justice,” they said.

Irish charities Oxfam Ireland and Trócaire are equally impressed with the sentiments expressed in the letter.

“The call by Pope Francis reminds us that climate change is first and foremost about people. The gross and growing inequality between rich and poor has been made worse by the climate crisis,” said Jim Clarken, CEO of Oxfam Ireland.

Executive director of Trócaire Éamonn Meehan meanwhile said that the encyclical should “mark a turning point in the global response to environmental justice, and particularly climate change”.

Read: Pope Francis will make powerful enemies tomorrow by releasing a radical new document

Read: Irish priest calls for bishops to be handed ‘P45s’ in open letter to Pope

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