Pope Francis made history on June 18, 2015, when he issued Laudato Si , his encyclical on the environment. In the long-anticipated papal document, Francis challenges humankind to take responsibility for the planet and particularly to be mindful of those who are suffering most from the ecological crisis now before us.
"(With the encyclical) Pope Francis puts a human face on the issue of climate change," SU President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., told KING 5 News. "It's really an appeal for conversion-more than just understanding."
The pope is addressing climate change as "a moral imperative," says Catherine Punsalan-Manlimos, associate professor of theology and religious studies and director of the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture. "Pope Francis has given us the profound gift of drawing our attention as a church and as a world community to our vocation to care for all the earth, especially the most vulnerable."
Laudato Si resonates in a special way with Seattle University. The healing and stewardship of our planet is fundamental to the university's Jesuit Catholic mission of building a just and humane world.
SU's established leadership in advancing environmental justice and sustainability is evident in its academic programs, co-curricular offerings and operations. In the spirit of the pope's encyclical the university is deepening its commitment to educating students as thoughtful caretakers of creation while working to reduce its carbon footprint.