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Approaching Laudato Si

Categories: Articles:Environment, Resources:Environment | Published: 03/07/2015 | Views: 4517
Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.

It might seem obvious, but first of all, read the Encyclical

Never mind what the chattering classes are saying in the media: make up your own mind by reading it attentively. You don't have to be either a professional theologian or a climate scientist to engage with a message designed for 'every person on the planet'. The language is accessible and infused with the 'gaudium et spes', the joy and hope of our faith.  Download the Vatican Press edition for free, buy the text or get the Kindle version for £0.99. Read it over a week or so, a chapter at a time; discuss it in your Justice and Peace group; set up a parish reading group to discuss it.

As you read it make a note of any passages that catch your attention. Write them down or cut and paste or stick a slip of paper in as bookmark. This can be your own personal anthology for reflection. After all, this is not just a report or Pope Francis' opinion. It is a gathering together of the thinking and experience of the whole church, which includes you the reader. As such it is an authoritative guide to spiritual formation.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia welcomed the publication of the encyclical saying 'Pope Francis puts our moral responsibility for the creation at the centre of our religious duties'.

There are further very useful guides and material for reflection from SCIAF from CAFOD and from the US Bishops' Conference<

If you want to follow up on the background to the encyclical,
here is a useful summary.

There is also an interesting comment from Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, President of Justice and Peace Europe.

For a change from just reading, you can call up Vatican Radio and listen to a number of broadcasts, including Cardinal Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council Justitia et Pax, and a significant consultor to the encyclical.

Another significant contributor to the encyclical, the Columban Fr. Sean McDonagh, a pioneer of Catholic creation theology, gives relevant background and a plan for carrying forward  the message

Ellen Teague will be known to many readers as one of the most energetic and informed proponents of environmental justice along with the Columban JPIC Team. She has written a series in that excellent resource, Independent Catholic News 

Finally, two reflections which are not a long read but full of good ideas: Eleanor Harris is a Scottish environmentalist who offers a thoughtful meditation.

Fr Donal Dorr has a very interesting article exploring the message of Laudato Si and its implications for cultural transformation

For a quick reminder of the main themes, the prolific American Jesuit, Fr James Martin, provides his Top Ten Takeaways.

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