As Christians we are inspired to be good stewards of the earth, to conserve and protect God’s creation and the earth’s resources.
“Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years. Yet we are called to be instruments of God our Father, so our planet might be what he desired when he created it.” (Pope Francis)
The Laudato Si’ Action Platform is a unique collaboration between the Vatican, an international coalition of Catholic organizations, and “all men and women of good will.” (LS 3) Taking a truly ground-up approach, it is rooted in the strengths and realities of communities around the world, empowering all to take “decisive action, here and now” as we journey towards a better future together. (LS 161)
On 4 October 2022, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecologists and animals, the Social Justice Department of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales launched a new edition of its teaching document on the environment – The Call of Creation
The climate crisis has a very human face. It is already a reality for multitudes of vulnerable people worldwide. The Catholic Church shows a warm pastoral care for those who have been displaced from their homes by its effects.
The Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced People explains the new challenges posed by the disturbing perilous phenomena of climate disruption in many parts of the globe and suggests appropriate pastoral responses.
The Diocese of Arundel and Brighton has set up an Environment Group as a response to the growing awareness of the dangers of climate change.
In March 2020 following World Water Day the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development released Aqua fons vitae, Orientations on Water, symbol of the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth, as a contribution to reflections on water. This new document is rooted in the Social Teaching of the Popes; and is inspired by the work that members of the national and local Churches have been doing in several countries. “Water” is a term that calls attention to several challenges for the human family.
In 2015 Pope Francis instituted the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which is annually celebrated on September 1st. It coincides with a similar celebration established by the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It is therefore also a day of ecumenical prayer.
Read Pope Francis’ 2022 Message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in which he asks us to “Listen to the voice of creation.” If we learn how to listen, we can hear in the voice of creation a kind of dissonance. On the one hand, we can hear a sweet song in praise of our beloved Creator; on the other, an anguished plea, lamenting our mistreatment of this our common home.
Laudato Si (Praise Be to You) is Pope Francis’ second encyclical letter addressed to all of humanity on environmental issues, our place in creation and our responsibility to our common home. In his letter Pope Francis calls us to an ecological spirituality whereby we find beauty in every moment and are drawn towards a simpler life in which we find joy and peace. In the English language title Care for our Common Home he makes a passionate call to all people to take “swift and unified global action” to combat the environmental and social destruction in our world”.
Laudato Si summary by Alan Rew, a Worth Abbey parishioner. Copies of the encyclical are available in the Abbey Bookshop.
Read Pope Francis’ Call to Fraternity: the making of ‘Fratelli tutti’ by Austen Ivereigh and an analysis of the encyclical by CAFOD.
CAFOD encourages us to treat our homes with respect by leading the way, taking responsibility and forging new habits. For ideas for actions take a look at CAFOD’s Live Simply Activity Poster: Reimagine Our Common Home.
Simplicity: Live Simply so that others may simple live.
CAFOD’s livesimply award is a way of putting our faith into action in our parish, enabling us to strengthen the bonds of community, nourish our spiritual life and care for God’s gift of creation.
The Laudato Si’ Movement (formerly the Global Catholic Climate Movement), brings together a broad range of Catholic organizations and grassroots members from all over the world. These members walk together in synodality and communion with the universal Church on a journey of ecological conversion. Striving for unity in diversity, organizational and grassroots members come together to pray, collaborate and mobilize in response to “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” Guided by a spirit of subsidiarity, when the timing and context are right, together they create or engage with local Laudato Si’ Circles and Chapters and connect with the global movement in a wide range of initiatives to bring Laudato Si’ to life
Global Healing & Global Caring are film-based events for parishes, groups and individuals. They are produced by CAFE (Catholic Faith Exploration) to inform, challenge and equip people to engage with Pope Francis’ vital call to Care For Our Common Home.
Green Christian: ordinary Christians, extraordinary times.
We are responsible for our impact on God’s creation as a whole. Green Christian helps members to understand and relate these responsibilities to their faith. Members can then encourage others in their local church to think seriously about these issues. Green Christian was formed in 1981, and formally constituted in 1982 and supports Christians from all backgrounds and traditions.
The Ecological Conversion Group is a small group of Catholic volunteers responding to Pope Francis’ Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ in which he calls for us to be Ecologically Converted. Our mission is to help our church, motivated by faith, to respond to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor. Our parish representatives on the ECG are Sister Jo Threlfall, Alan Rew and Jenny Edwards. The Diocese of Arundel and Brighton has committed to tackling our ecological crisis through the Journey to 2030.
The mission of Catholic Concern for Animals is the advancement of Christian respect and responsibility for the animal creation with special reference to Catholic teaching and beliefs.
Eco-Catholic is a new online storytelling resource made up of animations, prayer reflections and talks to help Catholics explore and engage with the ecological dimension of their faith. This new initiative, launched by the Jesuits in Britain and CAFOD, offers a simple and engaging way to connect with the teachings of the Church through digital storytelling.
Young Christian Climate Network is an action-focused community of young Christians in the UK, choosing to follow Jesus in the pursuit of climate justice.