Five years ago, Pope Francis wrote Laudato Sí, the first papal encyclical to focus on care for creation as a central moral obligation. His groundbreaking letter brought together the call to protect the environment and to defend the “least of these” through an integral ecology that challenges all of us. The letter is a hopeful call to action, holding that climate change is a moral test as well as a scientific reality and policy challenge.
In cooperation with the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the Initiative is hosting an online dialogue on the powerful message, continuing importance and future implications of Laudato Sí with the following leaders:
- Cardinal Peter Turkson is prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, a leader in the development and implementation of Laudato Sí, and the leader of the new Vatican COVID-19 Commission.
- Dan Misleh is the founder and director of Catholic Climate Covenant, which engages the U.S. Catholic community at the national, state, and diocesan levels in a serious and sustained conversation about a Catholic approach to climate change.
- Kim Wasserman is the executive director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization in Chicago, Illinois which has led several campaigns, including one that resulted in the closure of two local coal power plants. She is the 2013 recipient of the Goldman Prize for North America.
- Christiana Zenner is an associate professor of theology, science, and ethics in the department of theology at Fordham University. Her research has focused on emerging and established fresh water ethics and its intersection with the ecological turn in Catholic social teaching.
Kim Daniels, associate director of the Initiative, will moderate the conversation.
“We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental… Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”
—Pope Francis, Laudato Sí, 2014
This online session is an Initiative Public Dialogue, Salt and Light Gathering, and Latino Leader Gathering and is held in cooperation with the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Submitted by: Sarah Signorino, director, Mission & Identity