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Cardinal Cupich: “false idol” of economic growth is obstacle to climate action

Six years after the publication of Laudato si', Cardinal Blaise Cupich of Chicago is working to fully integrate the Pope's encyclical into the Church in the United States. 

He says that society's focus on the economy has rejected a holistic understanding of caring for others and the environment. 

Archbishop of Chicago

“For we have come to adopt a false idol of economic growth as the sole purpose and overarching desire of society....We have fallen into the misconception that material growth is synonymous with human development.”

The cardinal delivered the keynote opening to a virtual conference on Laudato si' and the U.S. Catholic Church. It comes after the Vatican launched the “Laudato si' Global Platform,” to provide resources for putting the encyclical's teachings into action. 


“What we need is a new ecological attitude that will transform our way of living in the world, our lifestyles, our relationship with the earth’s resources, and generally how we look at humanity and living life.”

According to Cardinal Cupich, tackling the climate crisis involves understanding the connections between social and ecological challenges. 

Archbishop of Chicago

“We have to understand as the Holy Father reminds us that we are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but one complex crisis which is both social and environmental.”

Cardinal Cupich was made a cardinal by Pope Francis in 2016. Since then, the American cardinal has been one of the Pope's key allies in advancing his agenda, on issues from migration to climate action.