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The environmentalist monk who inspired Pope Francis

This Trappist monk was talking climate before most folks even knew it was a thing.


File this under "Who Knew?"

It's a great read about an monk who was well on his way to the footnotes of history until Pope Francis issued his encyclical two years ago, "Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home." In that notable work, the Pope decried consumerism, lamented environmental degradation, and called out our "throwaway culture" that discards unwanted objects and people alike.

It's a remarkable document. And it's based, in part, on the teachings of a remarkable monk. As OZY reporter Nick Fouriezos noted, Pope Francis, urging the U.S. Congress in September to stick with its global climate commitments, described Merton as “a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time."

We have a ton of stories about environment and religion in our archives. Take a peek.

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