June 5 is World Environment Day with the theme Reimagine Recreate Restore. We call to mind the recent launch by Pope Francis of the Vatican’s seven-year Laudato Si’ action plan to implement environmental sustainability in different sectors of the Church.
“We need a new ecological approach that can transform our way of dwelling in the world, our styles of life, our relationship with the resources of the Earth and, in general, our way of looking at humanity and of living life,” Pope Francis said in a video message on May 25.
The Pope marked the end of the year celebrating the fifth anniversary of his environmental encyclical Laudato Si’ with the message announcing the initiative.
The Laudato Si’ Action Platform will focus on seven sectors: families, parishes, schools, hospitals, businesses, organisations, and religious orders.
The Pope explained that the action plan also has seven goals: the response to the cry of the earth, the response to the cry of the poor, ecological economics, adoption of simple lifestyles, ecological education, ecological spirituality, and community involvement.
“Our selfishness, our indifference and our irresponsible ways are threatening the future of our children,”Pope Francis
“I therefore renew my appeal: let us take care of our mother Earth … let us overcome the temptation of selfishness that makes us predators of resources, let us cultivate respect for the gifts of the Earth and creation, let us inaugurate a lifestyle and a society that is finally eco-sustainable.”
Cardinal Peter Turkson, the prefect for the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, said at a press conference the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many of the Vatican’s planned events, conferences and celebrations for the Laudato Si’ year, but expressed gratitude to the parishes and associations that organised local events.