I’ve just finished reading Pope Francis’ encyclical “On Care for Our Common Home.” Although I’m not a Catholic, I am very impressed with his visit to our country and his courage in speaking out about climate change and social justice.

Some have criticized his involvement in scientific issues, but they are missing the point. He writes about crises in the environment and human poverty. He doesn’t offer scientific analysis, but only his observations and opinions.

He gives us an overview of many issues, shows how they are interconnected and suggests actions we can take to improve the lives of humans and at the same time, all life on Earth.

He explains that Christians have misunderstood the meaning of “dominion” over Earth, as the English translation of the Bible states.

Rather, he interprets “dominion” as “responsible stewardship.” He asks us to work for the “common good” rather than “today’s self-centered culture of instant gratification. ”

The pope’s message gives me hope, because it adds one necessary element that has been missing from public dialogue: morality.

We have had scientific facts about climate change for years, and the gap between rich and poor has been widening steadily – now it is so wide that it displays unprecedented greed.

But our political leaders don’t have the spiritual clout to speak to us about right and wrong. Pope Francis and the leaders of other world religions are right to take a stand now. And we must listen, if our grandchildren and life as we know it are to survive.

“We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it,” Pope Francis writes. “We have had enough of immorality.”

Vicki Adams

Kennebunk