May 24, 2024

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Laudato Si Week: The Catholic Church amplifies call to heal Mother Earth to save Humanity

By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU

The Catholic Church through a campaign launched by Pope Francis known as ‘Laudato Si’ is stepping up its efforts in making human-beings the agents of the protection of mother earth and its people who continue to be affected by the effects of climate change yet they are also the ones who have the answer in their hands.

This was reiterated on Monday, May 17, 2021, in a Vatican-sponsored seminar that was virtually broadcasted in various languages including French and English.

Titled Laudato Si Dialogue: Critical Opportunities in 2021 to create change: call for an integral path, the event was followed by various people from across the World via Internet and other channels of communication.

According to the Vatican, 2021 should be the beginning to create change that will bring solutions to human and earth survival.

This is also the essential relevance and inspiration of the Encyclical letter Laudato Si’ and a Catholic voice on preparations for UN’s CBD COP15 summit on biodiversity as well as the COP26 climate summit as the world continues the COVID pandemic response and stressing the 1.5C call.

Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si’,” or “Praise Be to You” is an urgent call to tackle the current ecological crisis by making a paradigm shift that will allow all human beings to live sustainably in dignity.

Speaking at the event, Father Augusto Zampini, Adjunct Secretary at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development said that COVID 19 is a good example of the current state of the human race and the continued self-interest of each individual rather than collaborating together.

Based on such a situation, it is hard to respond to the continued climate crisis, added Father Augusto Zampini.

“What the church can do is to analyse the opportunities that we have in this context of the pandemic. If we want to analyse something and to act, we have to ask what is not working? We have COVID crisis which is a public health crisis, and then we have broken world that have political crisis, security crisis, …and then we have an economic crisis which the COVID has acerbated, inequality, millions of people without jobs, insurgencies, millions of people dying from hunger, and then on top of that we have the climate crisis.” Father Zampini said.

“If we want to take the crisis as an opportunity, we have to go to the rotten root. Because rotten roots produce rotten fruits. So, to change that we ask how can we change the rotten roots into healthy roots so as to produce abundant fruits?” He noted

“In a rotten society we are living in a globalization of indifference, we are not moving because we are focusing on ourselves and this is Unrealistic mentality. Look at what is happening with the vaccines, it is ridiculous, we want to be vaccinated in our groups, my country and when we don’t have all vaccinated the vaccine will not work.” Father Zampini observes

 “We are in 2021, and at the beginning of laudato si week, we need to take this crisis as an opportunity, …there is no place for us and me, there is no place for being disconnected from the earth, there is no place for being indifferent. We can connect that and we can produce some good fruits. Now, how are we going to do that? We have love! Wow! But love is not interpersonal, love is also social. As explained in Fratelli tutti, Pope Francis’s third encyclical “on fraternity and social friendship”, … if I don’t love society, and if you don’t love creations, it is very difficult to care for society, for people and for the environment.

He goes on to say that a living person who hears these cries should decide to change the behavior in order to find a solution.

Speaking on behalf of young people, Ditebogo Lebea, a South African Climate Activist who is also part of the South African Youth Policy Committee said that “Young people are forced to inherit a society that we do not deserve. It has become really difficult to shape the society because the decision-making spaces are usually difficult to break into.

She continues: “As Christian myself I always commend the role the church has played in society. The church has served as a moral campus to society and how to lead the society. I would like to call on the church to continue to lead the fight against the climate crisis. To take actions and lead. Help change the behaviours in our society by educating our society and by also adapting to more sustainable practices, and by claiming the role in decision-making structures and speaking for your communities, addressing the climate crisis and transition to a low carbon economy that must put people first.”

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