Message for the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si’
My dear friends,
Five years ago, Pope Francis issued Laudato Si’. That encyclical, on the environment, called for an ‘ecological conversion’, meaning a deep communion with all things that surround us.
In that prophetic document, we have a blueprint for a sustainable future that is based on respect and love for this beautiful planet. The encyclical is offered to us as timely reminder that we humans are part of the interconnected cosmic web of creation and we need to live in harmony with it.
Today, we are also challenged to move beyond old patterns of living and behaviour, both individually and collectively.
In the light of the ecological crisis that demands a conversion of heart and a change of lifestyle, we must have the courage to align ourselves with God’s plan for the world.
Only by acting in the best interests of the environment, of the poor and of future generations can we save this planet from devastation.
We cannot continue ‘business as usual’ and neglect the poor, the afflicted and the ailing planet, the consequences can only be destructive.
When we are out of touch with the natural world and our spiritual roots, we deprive ourselves of the antibodies we need to confront adversity.
This ecological crisis we are living through is a symptom of a deeper malaise, a sign that we have alienated ourselves from the God of life and love; that we have become dull to the cry of God’s poor and the cry of God’s creation.
Therefore, it is an opportunity for us to recognise our own sinfulness that contributes to the suffering of Body of Christ, now, at this moment, in the poor, the dispossessed, the marginalised and our wounded Mother Earth.
It is a kairos for us to further God’s restorative justice in the world.
Laudato Si’ was and is for Catholics and non-Catholics, domestically and globally to enter into an ecological dialogue and an immediate call to action.
The moral imperative, of all Catholics, is to respond to this ecological crisis, one we have witnessed recently through bushfires following on from years of drought.
Go forth, imagine and enact change in a post COVID-19 world, in your circles of influence.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv
Bishop of Parramatta
Chair, Bishops Commission for Social Justice – Mission and Service