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Laudato Si celebrates 5: Prophetic and Relevant as Ever

This year, Pope Francis’ encyclical on care for our common home- ‘Laudato Si’ commemorates its five-year anniversary. For 2020 Catholics around the world acknowledge ‘Laudo Si week’ with varied activities under the theme “Everything is connected.”

According to this week is a launch of a year-long journey of transformation, as we grow through the crisis of the current moment by praying, reflecting, and preparing together for a better world to come tomorrow. Following Pope Francis’ invitation to join Laudato Si’ Week, Catholics everywhere will reflect and prepare for action 16-24 May.

This preparation is expected to be put into action during the Season of Creation in September as Pope Francis invites Catholics to pray and act for ‘our common home’.

Facilitating the movement is The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) who began online webinars in light of the current pandemic.

The Catholic News joined the first session “‘Laudato Si’ at 5: As Prophetic and Relevant As Ever”

The discussion was moderated by Vice Chair of the GCCM board, Dr Lorna Gold, and presenters included, Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC) and Italian priest Fr Augusto Zampini-Davies who serves as an adjunct secretary of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development.

Fr Zampini-Davies emphasized we are all part of the eco-system and therefore any care for our ecology cannot omit human beings and vice versa. He shared what he liked that Pope Francis’ encyclical proposed “spirituality as a key driver for radical change”

Speaking on how interconnectedness has been impacted in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Fr Zampini-Davies said, “Interconnectedness has taken a dive as we see the way we treat animals, our contributions to industrial farming and treatment of nature affects our ecosystems. The origin of the Coronavirrus is a result of how we manipulated nature. In order to tackle the crisis, we have to go to the core of how we treat with nature.”

He noted, the health of people, their way of living and concern for generations to come should “always be put first” and society cannot be lax continue as it is going. And so, “the Coronavirus, in a sense is a wakeup call.”

Referencing the encyclical, Dr Gold said ‘Laudato Si’ makes us become “painfully aware” of what is happening in our world and how it transcends into our own suffering. She added Pope Francis has tried to address what each of us can do about it.

In response, Fr Zampini-Davies said, “The social ecological crisis affects everyone and no source of wisdom can be left out. You don’t radically change from your mind but rather from your heart.”

“We have to be close to nature to do things to care for the earth. It is a common problem and requires collective solutions so even if one person changes their own “heart” it must be in touch with others.”

He added that hope also plays a part as being part of a big global movement can make one feel intimidated or fearful that the challenge can not be taken head on.

Join the conversation! View Laudato Si webinars

From Sunday, May 24 – 28 our local Church will be continuing the initiative. This will be driven by The Franciscan Institute who has partnered with the Archdiocese’s Roman Catholic Youth Commission. Persons are also encouraged to follow CatholicTT platforms on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter to stay tuned and use the hashtags #LaudatoSi5TT #catholictt

By Renee Smith

Email: Twitter: @rsmith_cntt