Pope Francis delivers Laudato si’ video message May 24, 2021 / Screenshot
Vatican City, May 25, 2021 / 08:00 am (CNA).
Pope Francis launched Tuesday the Vatican’s seven-year Laudato si’ action plan to implement environmental sustainability in different sectors of the Church from religious orders to Catholic schools and hospitals.
“We need a new ecological approach that can transform our way of dwelling in the world, our styles of life, our relationship with the resources of the Earth and, in general, our way of looking at humanity and of living life,” Pope Francis said in a video message May 24.
The pope marked the end of the year celebrating the fifth anniversary of his environmental encyclicalLaudato si’ with the message announcing the initiative.
The Laudato si’ Action Platform will focus on seven sectors: families, parishes, schools, hospitals, businesses, organizations, and religious orders.
The pope explained that the action plan also has seven goals: the response to the cry of the earth, the response to the cry of the poor, ecological economics, adoption of simple lifestyles, ecological education, ecological spirituality, and community involvement.
“Our selfishness, our indifference and our irresponsible ways are threatening the future of our children,” Pope Francis said.
“I therefore renew my appeal: let us take care of our mother Earth … let us overcome the temptation of selfishness that makes us predators of resources, let us cultivate respect for the gifts of the Earth and creation, let us inaugurate a lifestyle and a society that is finally eco-sustainable.”
“We have the opportunity to prepare a better tomorrow for all. From God’s hands we have received a garden, we cannot leave a desert to our children,” he added.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, the prefect for the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, said at a press conference May 24 that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many of the Vatican’s planned events, conferences, and celebrations for the Laudato Si’ year, but expressed gratitude to the parishes and associations that organized local events.
In particular, the cardinal commended Catholics in Bangladesh for planting 700,000 trees over the course of the past year.
Fr. Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, who leads the Ecology and Creation section of the Vatican dicastery, stressed that the Laudato Si’ Action Platform can only be accomplished in partnership with “the synodal path that Pope Francis is proposing to the entire Church.”
“Integral ecology demands that we journey together on this mission,” he said.
Kureethadam explained that the first year of the initiative will be dedicated to “drawing up concrete action plans” following by “five years of concrete action” with the final year dedicated to “praise and thank God.”
In addition to the Vatican dicastery, Eco-Jesuit, the Pan-Amazonian Church Network (REPAM), the Global Catholic Climate Movement, the Union of Religious Superiors in Rome, and other Catholic groups are involved with the organization of the seven years of programming.
“On a journey that will last for seven years, we will let ourselves be guided by the seven aims of Laudato si’, which will show us the direction while we pursue the vision of integral ecology,” Pope Francis said.
“There is hope. We can all collaborate, each one with his own culture and experience, each one with her own initiatives and capacities, so that our mother Earth may be restored to her original beauty and creation may once again shine according to God’s plan.”
The Vatican is observing Laudato si’ Week to mark the sixth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for our common home. The week includes an online climate summit.
“The Laudato si’ action platform will be launched at the end of this week that offers the Church and all religious bodies a huge range of activities that they can join in order to move further away from fossil fuels,” Lindlyn Moma, Director of Advocacy for the Global Catholic Climate Movement, said during day three of the summit.
Father Augusto Zampini, adjunct secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, is overseeing the May 16-25 Laudato si’ Week.
Fr. Zampini told Crux May 17 he hopes the Laudato si’ action plan will create “a massive movement” of organizations throughout society and the Church.
“The idea is that everyone commits to the seven Laudato Si resolutions, which are easy,” he said.
A conversation during the summit’s third day, Laudato Si Dialogue on Energy and Fossil Fuels: Global Catholic Divestment Drumbeat, featured six panelists discussing fossil fuels and plans for reduction in their use.
Day three of the summit brought in 1,100 views on YouTube and nearly 240 on Facebook. The previous day, the summit attracted 3,000 viewers on YouTube and 500 on Facebook. On the first day, the summit brought 4,000 views on YouTube, and almost 560 on Facebook.
The summit will continue to feature discussions of the pope’s call for ecological responsibility in the face of climate change.
Laudato si’ Week is the conclusion of a year-long observance of the fifth anniversary of the encyclical. The year has included numerous activities to encourage the others.
In June 2020 the Vatican encouraged Catholics to put their faith into action to promote integral ecology and care of creation with the release of a 200-page document.
The introduction of On the Journey for Care of the Common Home said, “the intention is to offer an orientation to the action of Catholics (but not only) in the secular dimension and to ask every Christian to examine their own behavior, also in everyday life…”
During the launch of the Laudato si’ year in May 2020, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development commented that five years from Pope Francis’ signing of the document, the “encyclical appears ever more relevant.”
“We hope that the anniversary year and the ensuing decade will indeed be a time of grace, a true Kairos experience and ‘Jubilee’ time for the Earth, and for humanity, and for all God’s creatures,” the dicastery said at the time.
Christopher Thompson’s The Joyful Mystery aims to “recover the joyful mystery of the cosmos and thus set in motion the only conditions in which a renewed, authentic Catholic culture can emerge.” (xiii) The only conditions? […]