The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has announced a special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year. It runs from 24 May 2020, the fifth anniversary of the encyclical on Care for Our Common Home, to 24 May 2021. They hope that it will be a kind of ‘Jubilee for the earth, for humanity, and for all of God’s creatures’.
“COVID-19 has made clear how deeply we are all interconnected and interdependent. As we begin to envision a post-COVID world, we need above all an integral approach as ‘everything is closely interrelated and today’s problems call for a vision capable of taking into account every aspect of the global crisis’ (LS, 137).”Laudato Si’ Special Anniversary Year Plan
A Seven-Year Journey for Seven sets of Institutions Towards Seven Goals
The centrepiece of the Anniversary Year is a Laudato Si’ Action Platform that launches a seven-year journey towards addressing seven Laudato Si’ Goals. The Action Platform calls for action at all levels – local, regional, national and international – and it seeks to engage seven sets of institutions. The Action Platform also inaugurates seven Laudato Si’ Awards aimed at encouraging and promoting individual and collective action for the care of our common home by holding up best practices.
Laudato Si’ Goals
Like the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the Laudato Si’ Goals are at once a vision and plan. They name the major challenges of our times and point to an integrated program of action to respond at all levels.
The Laudato Si’ Goals are:
- Response to the Cry of the Earth (greater use of clean renewable energy and reducing fossil fuels in order to achieve carbon neutrality, efforts to protect and promote biodiversity, guaranteeing access to clean water for all).
- Response to the Cry of the Poor (defence of human life from conception to death and all forms of life on Earth, with special attention to vulnerable groups such as indigenous communities, migrants, children at risk through slavery).
- Ecological Economics (sustainable production, Fair-trade, ethical consumption, ethical investments, divestment from fossil fuels and any economic activity harmful to the planet and the people, investment in renewable energy).
- Adoption of Simple Lifestyles (sobriety in the use of resources and energy, avoid single-use plastic, adopt a more plant-based diet and reduce meat consumption, greater use of public transport and avoid polluting modes of transportation).
- Ecological Education (re-think and re-design educational curricula and educational institution reform in the spirit of integral ecology to create ecological awareness and action, promoting the ecological vocation of young people, teachers and leaders of education).
- Ecological Spirituality (recover a religious vision of God’s creation, encourage greater contact with the natural world in a spirit of wonder, praise, joy and gratitude, promote creation-centred liturgical celebrations, develop ecological catechesis, prayer, retreats, formation).
- Emphasis on Community Involvement and Participatory Action to care for creation at the local, regional, national and international levels (promote advocacy and people’s campaigns, encourage rootedness in local territory and neighbourhood ecosystems).
Institutions on a Seven-year Journey
Seven sets of institutions are being especially encouraged to embark on a journey towards ‘total sustainability’. They are:
- Dioceses and parishes
- Universities and Colleges
- Hospitals and Health Care Centres
- Businesses and Agriculture / Farms
- Religious Orders.
How Will You Respond?
The Dicastery is already planning a range of events over the next twelve months. It is now over to us all to plan for action at the local level in our families, schools, parishes, and Catholic organisations of different kinds.
Our online calendar features a range of events and commemorations that could provide a focus for Laudato Si’ action. Please visit often to check for updates and new action ideas. We’ll also keep you posted through Social Justice Trends on our planning and action.
Sandie Cornish Publications and Research Officer Office for Social Justice