Our Common Home – Laudato Si

Presentation by Fr. John McCarthy, SJ  on “ Laudato Si “ (Our Common Home)

Summary by Brian O’Sullivan, Director of Catholic Education

The Catholic Church has issued earlier documents on care for the environment , namely in 1990  Saint John Paul II’s : Peace with God the Creator, Peace with all Creation and in 2010 with Pope Benedict XVI’s: If You Want to Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation. There have also been 18 pastoral letters issued on the environment by Episcopal conferences (including Canada’s Conference of Catholic Bishops)

Laudato Si  (Our Common Home) by Pope Francis states:

  • “I wish to address every person living on this planet.”
  • “I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.”
  • “We need a conversation which includes everyone.”
  • Science, technology, economics, politics are necessary but insufficient to solve this crisis.. We also need a language of awe, wonder, beauty, mystery, contemplation, intimacy, relationship when talking of nature.  “… the world is a joyful mystery to be contemplated with gladness and praise.”

Chapters address the following key topics :

  • Chapter One: What is happening to our common home? : Discusses the evidence that shows our common home is falling into serious disrepair.   Takes science seriously and uses the results of the best available scientific research as a concrete foundation for the rest of the encyclical.
  • Chapter Two: Gospel of Creation :  Notes the abundant sources of wisdom found in religion, particularly Judeo-Christian tradition.
  • Chapter Three: The Human Roots of the Ecological Crisis: The ecological crisis not a technical, scientific problem, but rather a human, moral, indeed spiritual problem. A technocratic paradigm dominates our way of thinking and acting.
  • Chapter Four: Integral Ecology: : Human, social and ecological dimensions of life are all interconnected. The Cry of the earth and the cry of the poor are one and the same.
  • Chapter Five: Lines of Approach and Action: The major paths of dialogue need to cover politics and economics, religion and science, national and international politics,
  • Chapter Six: Ecological Education and Spirituality; We need too seek ecological conversion. There is a treasure chest of Christian spiritual experiences for those seeking inspiration and motivation.