Pope Francis Working on a Follow-Up to Laudato Si'

Source: FSSPX News

On Monday, August 21, 2023, Francis received a group of lawyers from member countries of the Council of Europe and confirmed that he was working on an extension of his 2015 encyclical on the protection of the common home, in order to update it by covering current issues.

At the Vatican, the Pope received European lawyers from 25 countries who had signed the Vienna Declaration in Support of the Rule of Law on June 11, 2022. In his speech, the Pope particularly welcomed their “commitment to the development of a regulatory framework for environmental protection.”

Francis added that “we must never forget that the younger generations are entitled to receive from us a beautiful and livable world, and that this invests us with grave duties towards the creation that we have received from God’s generous hands.” The Pope then left his text to confide:

“I am in the process of writing a second part of Laudato Si’ for an update on the current issues.” The Argentine Pontiff did not give further details on this sequel. But Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See's Press Office, stressed that this is a letter that aims to respond in particular to the recent environmental crises.

In his speech to the lawyers of the Old Continent, the Pope also defended the “fundamental principle of professional secrecy” referring to its “violation in several member states”.

“I understand and share your concern,” the Pontiff told them. “In the Church, it is very important that we have the secret of confession,” he said, slipping out of his text again. The pope pleaded for “spaces of trust where people can express themselves and lay down their burden.”

In recent times, several countries, such as the United Kingdom, Portugal, and Australia, have questioned the secrecy of confession in the case of sexual abuse perpetrated on children.

In his speech, the Pope also improvised a few words in French, suggesting to the lawyers to increase the female composition of their group.

He deplored that in societies there is “an ever greater demand for individualistic rights” and “an erroneous conception of human nature and the human person... which little by little provides and opening to serious abuses under the guise of good.”