Sources of authority in Laudato Si’

Cristina L.H. Traina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Authority does not arrive by fiat but rests on reasons and justifications, even though there’s no time to list them when one’s daughter is about to run ahead to cross the street or has already been asked five times to brush her teeth so that she can go to bed early enough to be rested for school. In EV, John Paul II cites the magisterium by name 13 times and the authority of Catholic tradition generally 14 times. John Paul II gives the impression of exercising his authority in isolation, and Francis gives the impression of behaving collegially. In addition to scripture and church documents, both encyclicals rely to a lesser degree on theology, primarily patristic and medieval theology. Encyclicals were always addressed de jure to the whole church and to the whole world, but de facto their moral horizons and their analytical perspectives were limited initially to Europe and then to the global north.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLaudato Si’ and the Environment
Subtitle of host publicationPope Francis’ Green Encyclical
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780429959783
ISBN (Print)9781138588813
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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