Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis on March 13, 2013, when he was named the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Bergoglio, the first pope from the Americas, took his papal title after St. Francis of Assisi of Italy. Prior to his election as pope, Bergoglio served as archbishop of Buenos Aires from 1998 to 2013 (succeeding Antonio Quarracino), as cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church of Argentina from 2001 to 2013, and as president of the Bishops' Conference of Argentina from 2005 to 2011. Named Person of the Year by Time magazine in 2013, Pope Francis has embarked on a tenure characterized by humility and outspoken support of the world's poor and marginalized people and has been involved actively in areas of political diplomacy and environmental advocacy.
In June 2015, Pope Francis spoke out about the environment. He released a 184-page encyclical, a type of Papal message, warning of the dangers of climate change. In this letter, entitled "Laudato Si," Pope Francis wrote: “If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us."
Pope Francis chided world leaders for failing to "reach truly meaningful and effective global agreements on the environment." He also called for "highly polluting fossil fuels" to be "progressively replaced without delay." And while improving and protecting the environment will be difficult, the situation is not hopeless, according to Pope Francis. "Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start." The encyclical was considered significant by environmentalists and church observers alike because it was not directed exclusively to Catholics, but to everyone in the world.
Pope Francis has written a letter addressed to every person on the planet, asking us all to protect the earth. Will you play your part to protect our common home?
Visit the CAFOD primary Laudato Si' site to find out more. Laudato Si'
Pupils have been considering how we at The Cathedral School of St Mary can take more care of our Common Home. Our Pupil Chaplaincy team have already spread the word of new search engines that we should be using instead of Google.
If you search using Ecosia, a tree will be planted for every 45 searches made. After the recent devastation in Australia with the bush fires, and the news from Greta Thunberg about the need for change, we are urging everyone to use this search engine or....
For every 5 searches made using this search engine, someone will be paid to go and retrieve a bottle from the ocean. Things that are so simple really do make a difference.
In addition to this, our school council have been collecting batteries and crisp packets for recycling, and they are also driving forward ECOBRIK which is an initiative to make use of our plastic waste rather than throwing it away.