St. John’s Professor Explains Enduring Importance of Laudato Si’

May 5, 2021
Professor Michael Rizzo, right, on CFN Live for discussion of Laudato Si and St. John's webinar


Michael A. Rizzo, Associate Professor, Division of Mass Communication, The Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies, was a guest on CFN Live, speaking about Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’.

Laudato Si’ helps us reflect about things related to the planet—the world that we share,” he explained. “It tries to influence us to change our lifestyle.”

Published in 2015, Laudato Si’ addresses the consequences of climate change, the culture of waste, the extinction of species, and various other environmental concerns. 

In his interview with host Rev. Gerard Gentleman, Mr. Rizzo explains that Laudato Si’ continues to have broad appeal years after it was first published. It is studied at secular and Catholic universities, at nongovernmental organizations, and by professional groups. 

“It really has made the Church relevant on this issue, beyond just the sphere of speaking to Catholics,” Mr. Rizzo said. “Catholic Social Teaching is about the economic conditions experienced by all people and how we are all interconnected. The Pope reminds us that we must also take responsibility for our planet.”

Mr. Rizzo explained that the encyclical was the focus of “De Terris, Aquis et Aeribus: Laudato Si’ 5-Years on…,” a recent conference sponsored by the College’s Institute for International Communication

“Catholic Social Teaching is about economic conditions for all people and also the solidarity of all of us in mankind and how we are all interconnected,” he said. “More than just being interconnected as people, we’re interconnected with our planet.”

Watch the interview.