Bishop Rozanski: Pope’s encyclical on the environment “makes you think”

Pope calls on residents of rich countries to make lifestyle changes

Pope Francis waves as he leaves at the end of his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The faithful, non-believers, and leaders around the world are reacting to the release of Pope Francis‘ second encyclical, which deals with the issue of climate change.

An encyclical is a letter from the pope to bishops around the world, which typically explores Catholic faith and tradition. But Pope Francis is speaking to a wider audience.

The document, called “Praise Be on the Care of our Common Home,” addresses something we all share regardless of our beliefs: the environment. The encyclical targets rich countries, urging people who live there to change their lifestyles and prevent what the pope believes is man-made global warming.

22News spoke with Springfield Catholic Bishop Mitchell Rozanski about the pope’s latest encyclical.

“No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, this encyclical makes you think,” Rozanski said. “Unless we take responsibility for it, if we destroy our home, we will have no place to live.”

Pope Francis wrote that without urgent action, entire ecosystems would be destroyed this century, and the poor will suffer the most. Bishop Rozanski said that the pope indicated this would be a cause close to his heart when he chose the name, after St. Francis; protector of the poor.

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