Change, Pope Francis Sounds an Urgent Alarm

The Extinction Chronicles

The encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ motivated many people to take action on global warming, but governments, the pope said, have lagged far behind.

Pope Francis delivers his blessing from the window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican during the Sunday Angelus prayer earlier this month. Credit: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty

Pope Francis delivers his blessing from the window overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican during the Sunday Angelus prayer earlier this month. Credit: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty

 When Pope Francis issued his landmark teaching document on climate change in 2015, his words went straight to the heart of Susan Varlamoff.

Varlamoff, 70, a biologist, read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in the 1960s and speaks proudly of a Catholic faith that embraces science and calls on church members to take care of the earth. Her sister, she said, died from cancer as a child, and she wondered whether her father’s liberal use of pesticides in their suburban yard might have been the cause.

She asked Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who was then the…

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