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Vatican

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Vatican

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Franciscan superior: With “Laudato Si,” Pope Francis asks us to take a step forward and act

2015-06-29

Pope Francis found inspiration for his ecology encyclical in the same man who inspired his name: St. Francis of Assisi. Since starting their journey of poverty and peace eight centuries ago, the Franciscan family has grown and spread throughout the world. And the influential saint's fingerprints can be found throughout the Pope's latest document.

FR. MICHAEL ANTHONY PERRY  
Minister General, Order of Friars Minor
"One of the amazing things about  'Laudato Si,' first of all, is it really focuses on what we call the three Ps: the poor, peace and the planet. And I think Pope Francis tell us that these three things are vitally interconnected.”

Michael Perry is the superior of the Order of Friars Minor. He said that following the way of poverty leads to peace, and eventually harmony with the planet. This is an idea that the Franciscans have put in practice, with small gestures that make a big impact. This is what they did at their last major meeting. 

FR. MICHAEL ANTHONY PERRY  
Minister General, Order of Friars Minor
"The entire meeting was paperless. The preparation before, all the meeting during. We saved, somewhere in the area of about eighty thousand Euros doing it this way. But it wasn't just about the money. It is about the fact we saved probably half a forest.”

The message of the encyclical is one of reconciliation between man and nature, Perry explained. Pope Francis says in "Laudato Si,” that everything in creation is connected and that calls on each of us to take personal responsibility. It also means that poverty must be brought to an end.

FR. MICHAEL ANTHONY PERRY  
Minister General, Order of Friars Minor
"Pope Francis makes it quite clear. Until we enter into the suffering of other people, and the suffering of the planet, we won't be able to have any sense of solidarity, and a sense of responsibility. So one of the things that I've found most interesting in the document, I think Pope Francis is inviting people to go, to leave... If they are running major companies, if they are involved in some type of exploitation of the planet, which is placing people in risk, placing the planet in risk.”

When Pope Francis was preparing the encyclical, the Franciscans published a document, "Franciscans for Ecology.” Their contribution is reflected in "Laudato Si,” an encyclical inspired by the patron of ecology, St. Francis of Assisi. 


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