Catholic Concern for Animals warmly welcomes Laudato Si’, as it represents a major paradigm shift in the Catholic Church’s attitude towards the Creation, nature and particularly to the other animals with whom we share this planet. Pope Francis attacks mankind’s ‘tyrannical anthropocentrism’ and highlights the interrelatedness and interconnectedness of all life. He has moved the Catholic Church away from anthropocentric theology, which views nature and other animals as being made solely for mankind’s use, and he has reinstated the teachings of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals from whom he has taken his name, on the mystical unity man shares with nature.
This encyclical is not just about climate change, as many commentators are saying, but it is about mankind’s fundamental relationship with the natural world, and it represents a spiritual transformation, in which we must understand that the whole of creation is important to God, not just mankind. Laudato Si’ opens up a whole new era of concern for the earth, the environment and for all God’s creatures. From now on, mankind must be the caring steward of creation and no longer exercise the tyranny of dominion. Pope Francis says, ‘Our “dominion” over the universe should be understood more properly in the sense of responsible stewardship’ (LS:116).