[World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation] to October 4 [Feast of St Francis of Assisi] (in which people can participate by using the hashtag #SeasonOfCreation), and in the 5th anniversary year of Laudato si’, the Holy Father expresses his concern for the “ecological debt” that is created when natural resources are exploited. He calls for them to be “shared in a just and respectful manner.”
We frequently hear about
integral human development.
What does this mean?
As Catholics we need to know!
How is it linked to the
Season of Creation?
“Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.” (LS, 91)
‘The values of Season of Creation go back to the roots of the Christian faith’
Season of Creation 2020 – ‘Jubilee for the Earth’
See a joint statement by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco and Rev. Christian Krieger
“We invite you to celebrate the Season of Creation this year under the heading of Jubilee for the Earth. The concept of Jubilee is rooted in the Bible and underlines that there must exist a just and sustainable balance between social, economic and ecological realities. The lesson from the biblical concept of jubilee points us towards the need to restore balance in the very systems of life, affirming the need for equality, justice and sustainability and confirming the need for a prophetic voice in defence of our common home.”
“A prophetic voice” i.e.: speak boldly for integral human development:
“Development cannot be limited to mere economic growth alone. In order to be authentic, it must be complete: integral, that is, it has to promote the good of every person and of the whole person.” - Pope St Paul VI, 1967, Populorum Progressio, n 14
“Integral Human Development is the holistic development of the human person, covering all aspects of life: social, economic, political, cultural, personal and spiritual.”
See the Caritas development approach.
What does it look like?
- A life with dignity – where people are able to access basic services, are included in social, political and economic life. This empowers people with confidence to make changes in their own lives
- Just and peaceful relationships – by addressing power, equity and conflict issues, people can feel safe within their family and community, and actively engage in community activities
- Sustained economic wellbeing and resilience – where people have access to resources necessary for life for themselves and their family
- Influence and independence – by improving the ability to access information and resources, people should be able to influence attitudes and decisions that affect their lives
calls for renewed action in a new document introduced 16 May 2020:
Journeying Towards Care for Our Common Home
on how to implement the action required by Laudato Si'. Although not completely translated into English yet, we have enough of an overview to start thinking and planning action. Catholic communities around the world are invited to join A GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT to gradually work toward “total sustainability” in the coming decade; including carbon neutrality, simpler lifestyles and divestment from fossil fuels.
To: local Archbishop, Bishop ……. Date: …
Cc: local Pastor
Your Excellency/ Father,
Journeying Towards Care for Our Common Home
I/We would like to quote the Alberta Bishops who in 1998 wrote in Celebrate Life: Care for Creation: “As Church leaders and members: How is the call to biblical stewardship communicated in the preaching, sacramental celebration, educational programs and management decisions of our parishes and church organizations?”
Today many people feel and some have said that the Church, with some notable exceptions, has not adequately promoted Laudato si’. That is obviously what is behind the recent publication 16 May 2020 of Journeying Towards Care for Our Common Home by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, calling for renewed action. Catholic communities around the world are invited to join a grassroots movement to gradually work toward “total sustainability” in the coming decade; including carbon neutrality, simpler lifestyles and divestment from fossil fuels. The document asks dioceses, parishes, families and schools to get involved. At present it is in the planning stage but why wait? Please start planning now and invite all to offer to participate in a grassroots movement.
Some of us ask why do we so infrequently hear of the Church’s Social Doctrine and Laudato si’ in homilies? Greta Thunberg, who has been encouraged by Pope Francis in starting the school climate strikes (Fridays for Future), said to US Democratic Senators 17 Sep 2019: "I know you are trying, but just not hard enough. Sorry.” Does that apply to you and our diocesan pastors? Did you promote the Season of Creation 2020 in diocesan social media? Do you ask our pastors to be aware and promote social justice and climate issues? After all, they are part of integral human development.
We ask and expect you to lead vigorously. Have any bishops actually walked the walk with Fridays for Future school strikes for climate? Pretty easy in a virtual world affected by covid! Think how that would be seen as a real leadership example by youth! Has your diocese divested from fossil fuels? If not, why not? What are you waiting for?
Why is Integrity of Creation not named as part of the Justice and Peace Commission of the CCCB? Why has the CCCB been so slow and weak in promoting The Season of Creation and Laudato si’ Week ? Both are now annual events supported by the Pope. A pastoral letter would be a good start. Here is an example.
I/we write to ask you to strongly promote these matters so essential to our faith with more vigour and to publically invite all to get involved in building a grass roots movement.
We ask for strong endorsement of the Laudato si’ Revolution and Global Catholic Climate Movement. Please make sure all your pastors are on board and advise them of these websites: Laudato Si' Revolution, Laudato Si.org and Global Catholic Climate Movement Canada.
With great respect and gratitude for your ministry, I/We close with this from Laudato Si’:
“Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.” (LS, 207).
Wishing you peace & joy,