A holistic approach to political, social, economic, and environmental problems
Hundreds of thousands of Catholics worldwide this week will celebrate the progress of bringing the Pope’s encyclical Laudato si’ to life.
The local launch of the Week began in the Archdiocese last Sunday at Mass celebrated by Archbishop Prowse.
He was accompanied by Aboriginal leaders Dr Caroline Hughes and Sally FitzGerald, along with many archdiocesan parishioners who have been involved in local activities initiated by the Archdiocesan Care for Creation Taskforce.
The week-long event marking the seventh anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical on creation care will feature global, regional, and local events tied to the concept of integral ecology.
In his homily, Archbishop Prowse said the Pope’s encyclical was “not a political statement”.
“We are not a political community. We are a theological community and there are ethical and moral implications to the gospel message.
“The Pope is not just talking about environmental ecology – which is the focus of many Australians – he is also focusing on integral ecology, the ecology that we have with each other – human relationships.
“There’s got to be a backbone of values and morals and an understanding that we all agree on.
“It’s integral; it’s whole. It’s an ecology that embraces everything, not simply the environment.”
Archbishop Prowse said the presence at Mass of ACT Churches Council president and Presbyterian pastor the Rev David Campbell, was indicative of this universal call and the ecumenical and inter-faith aspects of the movement.
“I think it’s a subject we’ve all become very concerned about,” the Rev Campbell said.
“During my ministry, which stretches over 40 years now, I am even more aware of the ecological issues facing us as a church. I believe that Pope Francis’ teaching in this area is relevant to all because it is something we all have in common.”
The Rev Campbell, who will attend the World Council of Churches Assembly in Germany this year, said he was sure these issues would be discussed there.
Archbishop Prowse said the Laudato si’ document was not just for Catholics.
“Integral ecology is an interfaith issue. So perhaps all men and women of goodwill can unite under God to see where the future lies in this important area of stewardship,” he said.
To let people know more about Laudato si’ teachings, the Archdiocesan Caring for Creation movement will offer a series of fortnightly dialogue sessions online from 14-June.