Does a World Leader Have Impact on Society?

What happens when people in positions of power make bold statements?

Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’ was the first encyclical written entirely about the environment and it is also the first to identify global climate change in such a high manner from the church’s highest leader.

  • Laudato Si’ is shaping the current and future conversation about ecology nationally all around the world, but most importantly it is bringing forth action.   It is calling for a shift in mindsets, morals, attitudes, and values.
  • Catholic organizations such as St. Michael’s Parish in Poway, California  is starting to notice change in the conversations of their parish attendees.  ““People are buying into this,” Father Dolan said, explaining how topics on the environment and sustainability come up in parish conversations, even during coffee-and-doughnut gatherings after Sunday Mass. “We have to think on a global level. This is no longer just a regional thing. We have to reach into this call to stewardship.”
  • All parishes in San Diego installed solar power due to a “push” by Pope Francis. According to CatholicPhilly, the diocese reported that out of 98 parishes and 89 schools, more than 50% of them had agreed to install solar panel systems.
  • The Archdiocese of Atlanta has adopted a wide-ranging action plan that included stopping the use of plastic foam cups and bowls, teaching their attendants about the encyclical, organizing retreats based on ideas of sustainability, providing workshops for the development of a parish garden and helping people become aware that their buying habits matter.
  • Catholic organizations all around the world are making Pope Francis’s vision a reality.

“A Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate poll conducted in May 16-26 found that Catholic adults are more likely to be concerned about climate change than other Christians. The poll discovered that 68 percent of Catholics felt they have a moral responsibility to act to mitigate climate change. In contrast, 65 percent of other Christians and 59 percent of evangelicals held a similar view.” Perhaps Laudato Si’ has provided people with the willingness to interact with a solution to global climate change.


Pope Francis is calling for an interreligious dialogue to share stewardship for our common home.

The church’s highest leader places a emphasis on stewardship for the environment and Catholics listen more carefully. Pope Francis’s encyclical alone might not have a huge impact, but if it is followed up by people of all faiths then the world will experience a global response and coming to action.

Pope Francis’s calling of the earth “Our Common Home” was not accepted with open arms from all religious communities. How much does his encyclical push the opposition? This is what I will be exploring in my next post.


P.S. I am interested in the reason as to why people recycle, if they do why? And if they don’t recycle, why don’t they? I have created a quick survey that will only take a few minutes of your time to answer this very question.



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