Get Ready for Laudato Si’ Revolution
Pope Francis, building upon the teachings of St. John Paul II and his call to ecological conversion, calls us to respond to “the urgent need for a bold cultural revolution.” (Contact, January-March 2020) [quoting Laudato Si’, n 114]
“OUR FOUR PILLARS
- To promote the JPIC values intrinsic to the Franciscan charism among our Franciscan brothers and sisters throughout the world
- To foster the lived spirituality of St. Francis through solidarity with the marginalized, and with all of Creation
- To live out and intensify the ecological conversion expressed in Laudato Si’
- To assist and cooperate with local and national JPIC coordinators, and with different social movements.”
We OFS JPIC and Global Catholic Climate Movement Laudato Si’ animators try to do this and hope you will read what we pass on to you, our secular sisters and brothers! We are all called in our local fraternities to be collaborative, creative, and courageous in Living out Laudato Si’ in most impactful actions. If we are not part of the solution are we part of the problem?
to the cry of the earth and cry of the poor.
It will ramp up action 2020-2030 on Laudato Si’
to nurture creation and
combat the world climate emergency and economy to create a mass movement of Catholics.
It is never too late to pray: we know that truly, as Laudato Si’ reminded us:
“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.” (§91)
A multi-year "Laudato Si' Action Platform" in gradual stages will invite Catholic dioceses, religious orders, schools and other institutions to publicly commit to a seven-year journey toward ecological conversion and "total sustainability." The action platform is framed across seven "Laudato Si' Goals" grounded in the encyclical's concept of integral ecology and which reflect the gamut of Catholic social teaching. It will begin in early 2021 by inviting initial participants and be officially launched in May 2022. The hope is by starting small, the movement will eventually reach a "critical mass" with more and more corners of the church taking part over time.
At this stage, the platform remains an invitation, to families, dioceses, schools, universities, hospitals, businesses, farms, and religious orders committing to complete the goals in seven years. The Dicastery said it hopes the number of participants in each group would double with each successive year. The rollout would continue through 2030. "In this way, we hope to arrive at a 'critical mass' needed for radical societal transformation invoked by Pope Francis in Laudato Si'," the Dicastery document states.
The Laudato Si' Action Platform and its related goals resemble the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
As the Laudato Si’ 5th Anniversary Year gets underway and as part of it, Msgr. Bruno-Marie Duffé, Secretary of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, has just published a letter inviting Catholics around the world to participate in the annual Season of Creation (1 Sep- 4 Oct 2020), which will feature a series of webinars. The Economy of Francesco meeting of young economists, originally set for March, and re-scheduled for November has again had to be postponed. The Vatican also expects to hold its third roundtable at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland. It is also exploring a gathering of religious leaders in spring 2021 and World Water Day will be marked on 22 March. I suspect Catholics will be encouraged to celebrate Earth Day 22 April again. Towards the conclusion of the Anniversary Year, Father Joshtrom Kureethadam, the Coordinator of the Sector on Ecology and Creation of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, said there will be an international conference, a musical event and conferring of “Laudato Si” awards.
Another project is the Laudato Tree Initiative, an Africa-based project to plant 1 million trees supported by the Irish Government in the continent's Sahel region. It is similar to the Birthday Tree Planting Campaign by the Franciscan Youth from Catholic University of East Africa: Read more here.
Much of this info can be accessed in greater detail here. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) did put out a useful guide to Laudato Si’ in 2017 which you can read here.
I hope the Canadian bishops will strongly publicise the efforts by the Dicastery on Laudato Si’ Week (next year!); this Anniversary Year & the coming Decade and the annual Season of Creation. The Bishops must lead. Unfortunately the CCCB was remiss in doing so in a strong and timely fashion regarding the Season of Creation and Laudato Si’ Week during the last couple of years. Their support was too little too late; barely more than a last minute mention. It was been left to those such as Development and Peace, the Global Catholic Climate Movement (and its Canadian branch) and Franciscan Voice Canada and its monthly newsletter the Common Good, among others. Parishes need time to plan and get people involved. For the Season of Creation they need to start in May or June because of summer slowdown and Season’s start on 1 September every year now.
Perhaps we should request the CCCB’s Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace to really take this matter seriously and act as strong, timely leaders! We can find the Commission’s members here to ask them ourselves.
My Archbishop is a member and he will be hearing from me! We could definitively encourage our families, dioceses, schools, etc. to volunteer to get involved and start putting bugs in our clergy’s ears; stir them up to ask their bishops! In Laudato Si’ (n 179) we are reminded to raise our voice and Pope Francis did encourage Greta Thunberg and her Fridays for Future protests when introduced by Tomás Insua, Executive Director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement.
Education and advocacy (talk, write, petition etc.) are the keys. Prep catechists can be made aware of such short (4 min) Development & Peace videos as "Laudato Si' Animation Clip for Children". Youth and adults wondering how we got into this situation could watch natural historian Sir David Attenborough, "How to Save Our Planet" (April 2019 video of 8 min 27 secs).
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In “A Catholic World View”, Bishop Gary Gordon of Victoria, BC says that simplified this comes down to the fact that God created everything out of love; and our challenge is how do we act in answer to two deep questions: does what we do contribute to the common good of people and well being of the earth? Talking to Catholic educators [which would include OFS formators!] he says our faith is a “profound invitation to imbue all of our curriculum” [which would include OFS initial and continuing formation] with awareness of the well being & good of creation and to be “authentic witnesses to it.” (4 min 55 secs video, 25 Apr 2020)
Some think that capitalism has failed e.g. Boff: “Capitalism is only good for the rich; for the rest it is hell and for nature, a war”
There is another way: The isms and big business must not make us; we must and can make capitalism, socialism & business serve man and creation. We must all play our part. See the video, THINK A NEW THOUGHT (4 min 48 secs).The script is actually underneath the video and I can send it to you if you ask me. Sadly the narrator is anonymous; but did I detect a slight South African accent?
As OFS we go from gospel to life: "Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their right and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless." (Isaiah 10:1-2) and support our Bishops: "The world needs the courage, hope, faith, and perseverance of Christ’s followers." Pope Francis, 17 May 2016
As always I attempt to bring you news from Canadians and so here’s something from (Canadian) Cardinal Michael Czerny SJ, Under-Secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development Co-creators of a better world. In an interview with Avvenire to mark 2020’s Laudato si’ week (16-24 May), Cardinal Michael Czerny SJ urges us to let the encyclical shape the way we think about the coronavirus crisis and find solutions to the fault lines it is highlighting. ‘Before being a “socio-environmental issue”, creation is a fundamental article of faith’, so how can a Christian view and love of the world, our common home, inspire change? Go to: Thinking the Faith.
Also see the Jane Goodall story from the Guardian:
Jane Goodall: humanity is finished if it fails to adapt after Covid-19.
And Now to Really Stir Things Up (for some)!
What do you think about the heated controversy over BLACK LIVES MATTER vs ALL LIVES MATTER? Why is one racist but not the other? Does one disrespect or downplay the other? Or discount inequality and suffering? If our world view is really Catholic, i.e. universal, which one is fundamental to Catholic Social Doctrine? Just askin(g)!
Where I live (BC) despite First Nations people making up two per cent of the population, they accounted for 15 per cent of police stops. And while Black people make up just one per cent of the population in the province, they accounted for five per cent of police stops. So what about First Nations, Mayans, Palestinians, Uighurs & Tibetans, to name just a few, whose people have suffered?
JUSTICE FOR ALL! EVERYBODY MATTERS!
Peace & joy, Andrew, ofs