Pope Francis has released his encyclical letter “Laudato Si” (Praise Be to You). Addressing his letter to all the people living on the planet, the pope asks us to consider what kind of world we want to leave to those who come after us.

The chair of the Iowa Catholic Conference board, Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, said, “‘Praise be to you’ as an encyclical is not a political document, nor a scientific document, but a religious document which our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has developed to guide us in our moral life in order that we might be faithful to the scriptures and teaching of the Church in our times.”

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has welcomed the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical as well.

“In Laudato Si’, the Holy Father invites us to reflect deeply on all points of human activity, whether we consider care for creation at the level of our individual choices or in the public square,” Archbishop Kurtz said. “The need for urgent action is clear and he appeals to us to become ‘painfully aware’ of what is happening to the world and ‘to grow in solidarity, responsibility and compassionate care.’”

Additional resources on the encyclical are available at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/environment/.