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In a passionate style, encyclical letter laudato si' of the Holy Father Francis on care for our common home expands Catholic teaching on mankind's responsibility to care for God's creation, and protect and care for the most vulnerable, issuing a call to action for both individuals and governments to tackle the planet's ecological plight. Francis warned that the world faces "the unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequence for all of us," and reiterated the scientific community's view that climate change is a man-made phenomenon that needs to be addressed without delay. Midway through Laudato si', we find this question: what kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? The Holy Father continues, "This question does not have to do with the environment alone and in isolation; the issue cannot be approached piecemeal." This leads us to ask ourselves about the meaning of existence and its values that are the basis of social life: "What is the purpose of our life in this world? Why are we here? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts? What need does the earth have of us?" "If we do not ask these basic questions" - says the Pope - "it is no longer enough, then, simply to state that we should be concerned for future generations"
Jorge Mario Bergoglio--now known as Pope Francis--was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 17, 1936, the son of Italian immigrants. He was ordained a priest in the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1969 and made a bishop in 1992. He became Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was named a cardinal in 2001. In March 2013 he was elected Bishop of Rome, the 266th pope of the Catholic Church.