Three keys points from Laudato si' remembered five years later

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Pope Francis' encyclical, Laudato si', is celebrating its five-year anniversary and is kicking off a special year dedicated to it, from May 2020-May 2021. 

The goal, according to Tomás Insua, with Global Catholic Climate Movement, is to raise awareness of the encyclical and turn it into action. 

Executive Director, Global Catholic Climate Movement
“It follows the see, judge, act structure of Catholic social teaching. So first, the first chapter of Laudato si' is about becoming painfully aware of the crisis of our common home, of the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor being so acute. And acknowledging and embracing the scientific consensus about the ecological crisis.”

It's a crisis, he says, that affects the poor in a profound way, humanity currently and also future generations, who have to live with the effects of today's actions. 

Executive Director, Global Catholic Climate Movement
“The second big point of Laudato si' is diving deeper into understanding what are the root causes of this crisis. Why did we get to this point? That we are ravaging the very planet that sustains life.”

Laudato si' explains that humans have not followed the “Genesis mandate,” to care for the common home as a gift from God. Instead, they have exploited it, using it for their own selfish benefit.  

Executive Director, Global Catholic Climate Movement
“Last but not least, it's about action. It's about once we see the problem, we understand the root causes, we turn it into action. We engage in transformation. We need to transform across all levels of society, of the Church, us individually, and communally.”

This final part is the call to an ecological conversion, something John Paul II also spoke about in 2001. 

In Laudato si', Pope Francis dives deeper into this idea, encouraging people to recognize the ecological problem, understand the causes and transform not only their hearts, but the Earth. 

To further the conversion, May 24 will be a special day of prayer for the universal Church and the world at large. 

Melissa Butz

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