Up close and personal with the Pope’s Encyclical

The Pope’s Encyclical book group kicked off 9/24, with 15 people from the Transition Palo Alto community, all interested in learning more about what Pope Francis has written in his recent Encyclical on climate change, “Laudato Si,” or “Care for Our Common Home.”   With Francis’ visit and his address to Congress early in day fresh in the minds of many, it seemed a perfect time to start exploring this unique document by a world leader who is clearly trying to shake things up by speaking frankly and eloquently about climate change, the plight of the poor, the political and economic system, and corrupting influence of power, wealth, and greed.

The initial session focused on the introduction to the Encyclical, while the next six sessions will each deal with the main chapters in the document. There’s also a possibility of follow-on sessions to discuss actions that we can take, or to address some of the issues that were put in “storage” as important, but not directly related to the Encyclical document.

The book group is open to others who want to read the document and have a meaningful conversation about what it means and how it can motivate and inspire social action. If you’re interested, please send an email to barbara@ontrk.com. We’ll answer any questions and give you detail on how to participate.

Click to download the Encyclical document (free).
Pope Francis Encyclical book group guidelines.

And these are some topics we put on the “shelf” for possible future discussion:

  • How does the Pope’s concern about the poor, etc., jive with his canonization of Junipero Serra?
  • What about population and birth control and how they relate to the other issues he discusses?
  • What about our treatment of animals, and the morality of eating animals?

emily peter paul herbchris meredith


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