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Just 4 in 10 American Catholics aware of Laudato Si

By Sarah Mac Donald - 28 August, 2015

Laudato SiJust four in every ten American Catholics are aware of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ according to a poll carried out within the past month.

According to the survey, which was carried out for the Associated Press, NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and Yale University, about a third of all Americans knew of the document, the first papal letter primarily addressing ecological issues.

Of the Catholics familiar with Laudato Si’, less than a quarter (23 percent) had heard about it at Mass.

The poll also found 43% of Catholics barely ahead of the general public (39%) in viewing global warming as a moral issue.

The Pontiff has designated 1 September as the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation.

Parishes around the world have been encouraged to hold prayer service on World Day of Prayer for all Creation by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

At the end of his weekly General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis recalled that next Tuesday, the Church will mark the first World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

Noting that local Churches around the world are planning events to reflect on the ways our lifestyles impact the environment, the Pope said he will be joining bishops, priests, religious and lay people from 5pm in St Peter’s Basilica for a special Liturgy of the Word, which local people and visiting pilgrims are warmly invited to attend.

In his letter announcing the prayer day, the Pope said that in order for Christians “to contribute to resolving the ecological crisis … we must first rediscover in our own rich spiritual patrimony the deepest motivations for our concern for the care of creation.”

At the end of September, Francis will make his first visit to the US and is expected to address Laudato Si’ at various points during the six-day trip.

Climate change and environmental protection are likely to be to the fore during his 25 September address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Pope Francis has previously expressed his hopes that the encyclical would influence UN climate negotiations, the next round set for Paris in December.

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