The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Social Justice Statement 2021-22: Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, affirms that ‘we human beings need a change of heart, mind, and behaviour’. It draws from Scripture, from the theological tradition, from Catholic Social Teaching, and from the wisdom of the world, including the insights of the First Nations.
The Social Justice Statement 2021-22 provides theological foundations to ground and inspire efforts to care for creation while responding to the needs of the disadvantaged and excluded. The Statement reflects on creation in and through the Trinity; the sacramentality of all created things; the wonder and beauty available to the contemplative eye; and the need for conversion and change of life.
In the Statement, the Bishops invite the whole Catholic community to join them in taking up Pope Francis’ invitation to a seven-year journey towards total ecological sustainability, guided by seven Laudato Si’ Goals. These Goals are: response to the cry of the earth; response to the cry of the poor; ecological economics; sustainable lifestyles; ecological spirituality; ecological education; and community engagement and participatory action.
The Statement especially encourages Catholic families, communities and organisations to: listen to the First Nations; reflect on the theological foundations offered in Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor; and plan their next steps towards the Laudato Si’ Goals.
Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor will be a useful resource throughout our seven-year journey to total sustainability.