Sr. Jecinter Antoinette Okoth, FSSA
As the Church concludes the special year of the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ and launches a seven-year action platform, the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development (PIHD) His Eminence Peter Cardinal Turkson has encouraged eco-action, calling on all people of good will to make the “world a greener and better place, healthier for us and sustainable for our lives.”
“Now more than ever it’s time to act, to do something concrete,” Cardinal Turkson said during a Webinar session on Tuesday, May 25, organized by the Dicastery for PIHD adding that “We can all change for a just and sustainable future and we must rethink and apply new models; reject questionable life behaviors; and engage in new lived realities.”
The Cardinal disclosed further, “the Dicastery is pleased to announce that the Laudato Si’ year will flow into an action-oriented project (dubbed) the “Laudato Si’ Action Platform,” a seven-year journey towards integral ecology.”
He reiterates Pope Francis’ invitation for all to renew the dialogue on how to build the future of the planet saying, “The mitigation of the effects of the current imbalance depends on what we do now…we need to recognize our role as ecological citizens and make the world a greener and better place, healthier for us and sustainable for our lives.”
Cardinal Turkson has acknowledged that even though Covid-19 pandemic prevented celebrations, conferences, events, documentary and an immersive show for the fifth anniversary of the Encyclical letter in the previous year, the “discomfort sparkled creativity of the Dicastery with many rich initiatives and activities.”
“Local churches, associations, movements, and many others have responded with great enthusiasm to Pope Francis’ appeal to take care of our common home,” he disclosed adding, “Laudato Si’ living gardens and chapels were born, places not only made of trees but born from the interconnection between the territory, humanity and its educational, social and economic activities, respecting ecosystems and biodiversity.”
During the Webinar session convened by the Dicastery for PIHD in collaboration with other organizations including, network of Catholic Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Ecclesial networks, youth networks and leaders of the sectorial working groups, the Coordinator of the sector on “Ecology & Creation” in the Dicastery for PIHD Fr. Joshtrom Kureethadam highlighted that realization of Laudato Si’ Action Platform will be “only through partnership, walking the “Synodal” path that Pope Francis is proposing to the entire Church.”
“In this way, we also respond to the Holy Father’s invitation to “prepare the future together” in the context of the current pandemic,” Fr. Kureethadam a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco said while addressing participants during the Tuesday online session.
He added, “Our prayer and dream are to initiate “a people’s movement from below” that can really bring about the radical change needed given the urgency of the crisis.”
On her part the Executive Co-Secretary of JPIC Commission USG-UISG is the Executive Co-Secretary for the Justice, Peace and Integral of Creation (JPIC) of the Union of Superior Generals (USG) and International Union of Superior Generals (UISG) Sr. Sheila Kinsey underscored that, Laudato Si’ Action Platform will focus on seven sectors: families, parishes, schools, hospitals, businesses, organizations, and religious orders.
Focusing on the Religious sector, Sr. Sheila said that three pillars will guide the sector the realization of the Laudato Si’ Action Platform including, namely “encouraging congregations to make a commitment to Laudato Si’ based on the congregation’s charism; a commitment that is prophetic, public and accountable, transitioning to an integral ecology through actualizing the seven Laudato Si’ goals; and working together in partnerships, in advocacy efforts, with integrity and based on the principles of nonviolence as we meet the challenge of the ecological crisis.”