The much- awaited encyclical of Pope Francis on the environment and development was finally released on June 18, in a press conference here in the Vatican. Entitled, “‘Laudato Si’ - On the Care of Our Common Home'”, the 190-page encyclical connects the care of the natural world with justice for the poorest and most vulnerable people, and argues that only by radically reshaping our relationships with God, with our neighbours and with the natural world, can we hope to avoid the threat of self-destruction facing our planet today. The title of the encyclical “Laudato Si” is a phrase taken from the 13th-century Canticle of the Sun (also called the Canticle of the Creatures), a poem and prayer composed by Francis of Assisi, the popular 13th century Italian saint known for his humility, poverty and love for nature. Well, to know more about the encyclical, we called on the phone Indian Jesuit priest Fr. Cedric Prakash, a well-known human rights and peace activist, who heads the human rights centre in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, called Prashant. Fr. Cedric begins the first of this 2-part interview today, by giving us his opinion on “Laudato Si”.
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