VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis said Wednesday he will be releasing an update to his landmark 2015 environmental encyclical on Oct. 4, the feast of his nature-loving namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, as he called for an end to the “senseless war against our common home.”
Francis recently revealed he was writing a “second part” to the document “to address current problems.” The Vatican spokesman said the update would take into account in particular recent climate crises.
On Wednesday, Francis told his weekly general audience that he intended to publish the update on Oct. 4, the feast of St. Francis and also the start of Francis’ big Vatican meeting on the future of the Catholic Church.
The 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si,” or “Praised Be,” is perhaps Francis’ most well-known and important document. In it, Francis cast care for the environment in stark moral terms, calling for a bold cultural revolution to correct what he said was a “structurally perverse” economic system in which the rich exploited the poor, turning Earth into a pile of “filth” in the process.
Citing the deforestation of the Amazon, the melting of Arctic glaciers and the deaths of coral reefs, Francis rebuked “obstructionist” climate doubters and accused politicians of listening more to oil industry interests than Scripture, common sense or the cries of the poor.
The encyclical has inspired ecological movements around the world, been cited by presidents and patriarchs, and in many ways has formed the bedrock of Francis’ 10-year papacy, which has prioritized the poor and marginalized.
It was initially released ahead of the Paris climate talks, and the update is being released ahead of the next U.N. climate conference later this year in Dubai.
“Let us unite with our Christian brothers and sisters in the commitment to care for creation as a sacred gift of the creator,” Francis said Wednesday. “We must side with the victims of environmental and climate injustice, working to put an end to the senseless war against our common home.”