LAUDATO SI’ – What is it?
Pope Francis released the landmark encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ – Care of our common home’, in 2015. Translated approximately from the Latin – Laudato Si’ means ‘Praise be to you, My Lord”. You can read Pope Francis’ document in full here.
Laudato Si’ – Action Plan
Laudato Si’ – Care for our Common Home, calls us toward sustainability in the spirit of integral ecology. “With profound care for each other, our Creator, and all creation, we are building a better future together.”
The Pope has called on Catholics to discern a response to the ecological crisis. Laudato Si’ defines seven goals, which are guiding the church’s response.
These goals are diverse and their holistic approach is designed to support a spiritual and cultural revolution as we strive for total sustainability in the spirit of integral ecology. But being green or green solutions are only one part of Laudato Si’ which is more holistically about integral ecology. Integral ecology refers to an integrated approach to political, social, economic, and environmental problems.
While all seven goals are important, a commitment to ecological spirituality and ecological education are fundamental because as the church, our commitment to care for our common home comes from a place of faith.
The agencies of the Archdiocese of Brisbane have collectively developed a Laudato Si Action Plan to demonstrate our commitment to taking action to embrace Pope Francis’ vision of an integral ecology.
This 2022 – 2023 plan is for the first of seven years of action. Each year we will develop a new plan, which builds on the previous years’ and responds to each of the seven Laudato Si Action Platform goals.
The Laudato Si’ Action Plan for the Archdiocese was purposely launched on June 5, 2022, a date that happily doubled as both Pentecost Sunday and World Environment Day.
As a means of paving the way for the plan’s reception, Archbishop Mark Coleridge prepared a special homily that expertly links the two: “As the Church, our task – never clearer than at Pentecost – is to receive more deeply the gift of the Holy Spirit that Jesus breathes into us and then to breathe that same Spirit into a dying planet.”
What is an encyclical?
Encyclicals are open letters circulated by the Pope to Catholics across the globe but they are addressed to all people of good will, i.e. non-Catholics, who may want to draw upon the ideas.
Using the Gospels and the Tradition of the Church as a foundation, Papal encyclicals provide analysis on relevant issues for the faithful. Previous popes have penned encyclicals on a wide array of topics, from the study of Scripture (Leo XIII, 1893) to humanity’s redemption in Christ and the dignity of human beings (John Paul II, 1979).
As industrialisation and secularisation have proceeded apace, many encyclicals have come as pastoral responses to questions raised by social movements and calls for societal change. For example the struggles of workers maintaining jobs in a mechanised world (Leo XIII, 1891), the urgent need for peace post-World War II (John XXIII, 1963) and the global financial crisis (Benedict XVI, 2009). These later encyclicals now form an integral part of what is often referred to as Catholic Social Teaching.