'Laudato Si', second anniversary

Press Release

Pledge launched to mobilize 
1 million Catholics on Climate Change

Launch coincides with 2nd Anniversary of Papal encyclical

Global - In celebration of the 2nd anniversary of Pope Francis’ historic encyclical Laudato Si’ (June 18, 2015), the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is launching a Laudato Si’ Pledge campaign to keep the Pontiff’s message alive and encourage mass Catholic action to address the climate crisis. 

The Laudato Si’ Pledge (see text below) is a way for Catholics to commit to the transition to renewable energy in their homes and communities, and to push elected leaders to take strong action on climate change. It will target four different audiences: individuals, families, parishes and organizations. The goal is to get 1 million Catholics engaged to address the climate crisis through this new initiative.

The Laudato Si Pledge was launched with the support of Cardinals, Bishops, and other high-level leaders (see quotes below) to encourage interest by the wider Church. 

A major kickoff event took place in Manila on June 17th (pictures below), with the support of high-level Church leaders as Cardinal Tagle and Archbishop Socrates Villegas (president of the Bishops Conference of the Philippines). The location is significant given how vulnerable the island nation is to the impacts of climate change, as well as how active Filipino Catholics have been in raising the ecological issue. 

The pledge will be distributed online in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, with other languages to follow soon. Signatories of the pledge will receive invitations to turn Laudato Si’ into action through GCCM initiatives taking place throughout the year,  such as the ecumenical Season of Creation (September 1-October 4) and Earth Day. 

The Catholic Church with a collective carbon footprint of 1.2 billion faithful (17% of the world’s population) and the institutional Church (220,000 parishes, 150,000 schools) has a significant role to play in addressing the climate crisis.

Laudato Si Pledge text: Answering Pope Francis’ urgent call in Laudato Si’, I pledge to: 

1) Pray for and with creation 
2) Live more simply 
3) Advocate to protect our common home.

Laudato Si Pledge website: www.LiveLaudatoSi.org 

Pictures of #LiveLaudatoSi and People’s Climate March: LINK

Pictures of kickoff event in Manila (to be uploaded on June 17 at 3am US Eastern Time): LINK

About the Global Catholic Climate Movement: The Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) is an international network of Catholic individuals and organizations responding to the Pope’s Laudato Si’ call for climate justice. Founded in January 2015, GCCM has grown extremely quickly by bringing together 400+ member organizations and thousands of Catholics to take action through innovative campaigns to bring Laudato Si’ to life. In 2015, GCCM led a massive campaign gathering over 900,000 petition signatures calling for the 1.5C target which were delivered to the French president Francois Hollande and UN climate chief Christiana Figueres in interfaith events in Paris during the COP21. 



QUOTE SHEET: 

Endorsements from Leaders of the Catholic Church

Cardinal John Ribat, Archbishop of Papua New Guinea and President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops' Conferences of Oceania: “This is a crucial ministry to help the global Church respond to the climate crisis. On behalf of the vulnerable communities of Oceania, I urge all Catholics to join and support this important effort to bring Laudato Si' to life.” 

Cardinal Blase Joseph Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago: “Laudato Si’ is an unequivocal call to action to protect our common home. As we mark the second anniversary of this groundbreaking document, there is an even greater urgency to work together to honor the gift of our creator. In doing so we will shield the poor and marginalized from the effects of climate change and preserve our small planet for future generations.”

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM, Cap.  Archbishop of Boston: “Pope Francis provides an important contribution to the good of the world we live in by making clear that we have a responsibility to care for the extraordinary gift of God’s creation, showing respect  for the needs of all people throughout the international community.  The Holy Father appropriately calls us to consider how our actions today will impact the well-being of those who will follow us in the future.”  

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Archbishop of Durban, South Africa: “The Laudato Si’ message is important because it is asking everyone to put the smile back on God's offer as he continues to inspire and guide us his children to take care of the creation, which he created so good.” 

Archbishop Emeritus of Trento Mons. Luigi Bressan: “The message of the Encyclical Laudato Si' has an integral vision comprehensive of human being in connection with economics, relations, nature and community. It' s a very clear and deep message: all we are interconnected and not isolated from each other.”

Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SJ: “We need today to assimilate the wide and holistic vision of the world that Laudato si’ offers us. Pope Francis shows us the world as a "common home", a living environment, and not a simple "object" to use. The universe is seen as a place where we find "multiplicity and variety" and where everything is in a relationship, united by invisible bonds, and all "connected". The Laudato si’ is important today because we need to rediscover the world as a network of relationships.”

Mons. Francesco Alfano, Archbishop of Sorrento - Castellammare di Stabia: “In this time of big environmental challenges that humanity must deal with urgency and foresight, the Laudato Si' launches a cautious and challenging appeal to all men and women of good will who care about the future of our planet and who want to help building the one human family based on fundamental rights to be recognized and on the duty of participation and co-responsibility.”

Tomas Insua, Executive Director, Global Catholic Climate Movement: “The Laudato Si Pledge is the Catholic Church’s chance to witness to and co-create the new, clean, life-giving paths forward that our world desperately needs. Pope Francis helped transform the climate debate by reframing it as a moral issue. Now is the turn for the Church to “walk the walk” and bring the encyclical’s message to life.”

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, writer and theologian: “Pope Francis has brilliantly and courageously reconnected the Catholic and Christian tradition with its neglected foundation in creation and nature itself. He is more Franciscan than Jesuit! He takes the Incarnation to its logical conclusions.” 

Sr. Sheila Kinsey, Executive Co-secretary of the JPIC Commission of the International Union Superiors General and GCCM Steering Committee member: ”GCCM is a voice of integrity that speaks after listening to the "cry of the earth" and the "cry of the poor". I urge you to listen deeply to these cries, then add your voice in support of Laudato Si.”

Fr. Sean McDonagh, Columban priest and Eco-theologian: “Laudato Si is an important step in the Church’s understanding of our human relationship with both the Creator and all of creation. We must continually learn from science, evolve our theology, and humbly situate ourselves in the wider creation story that began with the initial flaring forth 13.7 billion years ago to the world in which we live now and into the future.  We must be open to encounter creation and learn from it.” 

Marie Dennis, Co-President, Pax Christi International: “The honest reflection of Laudato Si’ on broken relationships within the whole earth community challenges us all to deep personal and societal transformation, while the concept of integral ecology at the heart of the encyclical offers an enormously hopeful grounding for a more peaceful, as well as a more just, future.”

Bill Patenaude, CatholicEcology.net: “The connection between our ecological sins and our sins against the dignity of vulnerable human beings—the unborn, the infirmed, the homeless—resides at the heart of the Catholic understanding of ecology. This was taught by Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and we must be forever grateful to Pope Francis for turning up the volume of that message. It is this link that Pope Francis emphasized a thousand fold in Laudato Si’ with the term “integral ecology”--and it is this link that can help foster the unity that today is so needed within the Church and the world.”

Fr. Benedict Ayodi, OFM Cap., Capuchin Franciscan General Secretary for Justice, Peace and Ecology and GCCM Steering Committee member: “Climate justice calls for bold actions, not just bold words in dealing with Climate change. Laudato Si provides both.  Let us act now to care for creation” 

Kevin Roussel, Executive Director, Catholic Welfare and Development, Cape Town, South Africa and GCCM Steering Committee member: “The Global Catholic Climate Movement breathes the life of Laudato Si into the actions of many who hold harmony with the earth and each other as a central part of our evangelisation mission. Through the wonderful campaign points, resources and the ongoing development of the movement, those who care for the environment are finding a spiritual home for our actions and many more are being called to God’s creation.” 

Marianne Comfort, Institute Justice Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas: “Pope Francis, and the Global Catholic Climate Movement, are calling us not to just read, reflect on and pray with Laudato Si, but to LIVE Laudato Si. The pledge challenges us to respond to the encyclical through ongoing prayer for Our Common Home, ecological conversion in our lifestyles, and advocacy for bold and effective public policies to keep global warming well below 2 degrees celsius.”

Amy Woolam Echeverria, Columban International Coordinator for Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation: “Living Laudato Si’ is at the heart of living the Gospel of justice, peace, and wholeness with all of Creation.  The Laudato Si’ Pledge opens the journey for any person of faith towards ongoing ecological conversion that lasts a lifetime.”  

Marie Venner, Chair, National Academies of Science & Engineering Transportation Research Board and GCCM Steering Committee member: “As Catholics it is necessary for us to respond morally to the situation before us, which is detrimental to life and the ability of all to flourish.  Instead, a system of domination, heedless destruction and short-term profit and decision-making prevails.  Pope Francis stresses that we must come back to the common good, the core of what our religion teaches, and bring about the cultural revolution and concrete changes needed, including transition off of fossil fuels, without delay.  We must act in a timely and courageous fashion, putting ourselves at risk, as certain people did in the face of the Holocaust.  With faith, we can make the massive and rapid shifts we need.  Catholics can and should play a leading role in bringing this systemic change about, bringing Laudato Si’ to life.”

Endorsements from other Global Leaders:

Christiana Figueres, former UN climate chief: "Now more than ever, the world needs to heed the moral imperative of Laudato Si’, and step up to the bold and urgent action that is necessary.” 

Yeb Sano, former lead climate negotiator for the Philippines: “Laudato Si' has brought clarity and urgency to the Church's message on care for creation.  As we already see the devastating effects of climate change taking place, it is important for each and every one of us to hear Pope Francis' call for an "ecological conversion" and a response that includes individual change, peaceful political action, community solidarity, prayer.” 

May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org: "The message of Laudato Si still rings out as clear as a church bell and as loud as a trumpet: the time for climate action is now! It's a call that has been taken up around the world, especially at the grassroots level, with Catholics and non-Catholics everywhere rising to this great challenge of our time. Now, with the forces of denial pushing back against our hard won climate progress, we must redouble our efforts to care for our common home. Laudato Si remains an inspiration for so many of us in this struggle."

MEDIA CONTACT: 

Christina Leano, Global Catholic Climate Movement
Email: christina@catholicclimatemovement.global 
Telephone: +1 786 459 5667

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