A global campaign that involved thousands of faithful  through interactive and educational seminars on the care of our  common home. Launched by the Pope, it was organized by the Department for the Service of Integral Human Development with the support of a group of Catholic partners.

From May 16th to 24th the Laudato Si’ Week was held under the title “Everything is connected”, a global campaign on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the care of the common house.

The event  engaged Catholic communities worldwide  involving dioceses, parishes, movements and associations, schools and institutions to deepen their commitment to safeguarding Creation and promoting an integral ecology.

Strongly desired by the Pope, it was organized by the Department  for the Service of Integral Human Development with the support of various Catholic partners including the Global Catholic Climate Movement which includes more than 900 Catholic organizations worldwide among which the Focolare Movement.

During the Week there were various online initiatives following the  indications of  Laudato Si. In fact due to  the Covid-19  emergency,  the event took place entirely online through interactive and formative seminars.

On Sunday, May 24th the event concluded with a world day of prayer: at 12 noon (local time in each time zone), everyone was invited to  pray for the Earth with this prayer.

In March the Pope sent a video message in which he encouraged the faithful to participate in protecting our common home. Together, through action and faith, we can solve the ecological crisis. “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who will come after us, to the children who are growing up? – says the Pope – I renew my urgent appeal to respond to the ecological crisis. The cry of the earth and the cry of the poor can no longer wait. Let us take care of creation, a gift from our good  Creator God “.

In these 5 years, the Pope’s encyclical has stirred the consciences of many citizens. People have formed communities  with the aim of doing something for the environment, driven by the Pope’s words on a more attentive ecological vision of our Common Home. Yet after five years these words resonate very topical in today’s world torn apart by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Vatican Department for the Service of Integral Human Development also stresses how the teachings of the Encyclical are particularly relevant in the current context of  Covid-19  that has brought life to a standstill  in many parts of the world. “The pandemic has struck everywhere and teaches us how only with the commitment of all can we rise up and defeat even the virus of social selfishness with the antibodies of justice, charity and solidarity. To be builders of a more just and sustainable world, of an integral human development that leaves no one behind”- underlines Don Francesco Soddu, director of Caritas Italiana

During this week we have not only talked about ecology. The organizers asked themselves: what role does  the economy play  in terms of safeguarding Creation? In fact, on Thursday  May 21st  an online meeting was held with the English economist Kate Raworth, from Oxford University and Cambridge University, one of the most influential economists internationally. This meeting was also part of the preparation and formation process for “The Economy of Francesco”, the event wanted by the Pope to be held in November in Assisi for which  3000 young entrepreneurs from all over the world have already registered.

On the subject of safeguarding Creation, ” the economy is responsible for  at  least 50% if we consider each individual’s economy, the economy of enterprises and the economy of States and the effects that all this has on the pollution of the Planet . Then there is politics, our lifestyles, etc….  (…) If we also look at what has contributed to the  the failures of these decades , global warming, for example, we realize that in short, the capitalist economy really has a great responsibility. So if we want to make a change we have to change the economy”- says the economist Luigino Bruni

Therefore, to live  Laudato Si  means to show our sensitivity to the theme of safeguarding Creation but  it also means we make life choices in the economic sphere. We can contribute to a profound economic and ecological conversion through practical experiences. We also need to understand what political change we need to promote in order to truly listen to the cry of the earth and of  the poor.

Lorenzo Russo

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