The Internet Exploded with Pope Francis's Climate Change Encyclical

By Kaila Hale-Stern on at

Pope Francis yesterday unleashed a mighty call-to-action over climate change and other catastrophes caused by humans. This coalescence of faith and science is rare enough, but judging by the excited buzzing of social media, the Dope Pope has struck a major nerve.

In the encyclical, or “teaching letter,” Francis single-handedly bitch-slapped the politicians and corporations worldwide who insist on questioning the scientific realities of what humanity hath wrought unto our planet. As the NYTimesreports, the encyclical also called out global greed, invoking “the reckless pursuit of profits” that affect the poor most deeply. He also lamented our “excessive faith” in technology, our chrome-plated new Gods:

He praised the progress achieved by economic growth and technology, singling out achievements in medicine, science and engineering. But, he added, “Our immense technological development has not been accompanied by a development in human responsibility, values and conscience.”

Across our soulless tech platforms, social media’s response to the encyclical was mostly positive, with many using the name of the letter, Laudato Si, as a hashtag. Many of the tweets and posts took choice pull quotes from the document. The Pope himself (or his social media manager), @pontifex, was on a bit of a Twitter tear, cranking out 33 status updates in short succession. A few selections:

(Here’s the full text of Laudato Si)

Media interest was enormous for the Vatican’s announcement, especially following Monday’s leak of the document.

No one can accuse the Pope of not covering his bases:

Meanwhile, an unofficial trailer released by a Brazilian climate action group proved to be both popular and entertaining, as the Pope takes on pollution like an action hero:

What the hell is an encyclical, anyway?

How are the cool kids weighing in?

The Internets Just Exploded with Pope Francis' Climate Change Encyclical

(via deadpresidents.tumblr.com)

Facebook posts drove the same point home:

The Internets Just Exploded with Pope Francis' Climate Change Encyclical

And how will the Pope’s call to action impact snarky Catholics worldwide? Crucial considerations:

While others mused more philosophically:

But the White House was definitely down:

In the midst of all of this revolutionary church environmentalist excitement and calls from the spiritual head of state of 1.2 billion people to change the world, let us never forget the very best Pope Francis meme:

The Internets Just Exploded with Pope Francis' Climate Change Encyclical