Friday, June 19, 2015


I joined the faithful for the Laudato Si’ prayer service last evening. It was inspiring, new and sobering - and  yet another example of his dedication to progressive issues.

The pope has called for a new style of church, a style that is pastoral and open. He has set out a new set of priorities that are rooted in the Gospel.

Most Rev. Martin William Currie, Archbishop of St. John’s, led a prayer service and introduction of Pope Francis’s new encyclical at St. Teresa’s Church on Thursday evening. 

In recent times, there has been no greater anticipation than that experienced for the reception of this encyclical. One of the most remarkable things about the gathering was the number of people I spoke to who were not Roman Catholics but are looking to Pope Francis for leadership.

“This letter brings together deep faith and good science in an attempt to rally all people of good will to action on behalf of our suffering planet and our suffering sisters and brothers. ”,explained Currie.
He said what Pope Francis wants, and calls for in this encyclical is, “a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”

The letter reminds everyone that the earth, our common home “is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us"

The themes with which the encyclical deals are:

      The cry of the poor and the cry of the planet are one
      All the elements of Creation are inter-connected
      Critique of new paradigms and forms of power
                derived from technology
      A call to seek other ways of understanding the
        economy and progress
      Every creature, every living thing, has value
      The human meaning of ecology
      The need for forthright and honest debate
      The serious responsibility of international and local  policy
      The throwaway culture and the proposal of a new   lifestyle 

In his closing comments Bishop Currie reflected that, “it is perhaps important that this present Pope is both a scientist and from a country in the global south. He was a chemist before he became a Jesuit and a priest, and he comes from Argentina. He has experienced first-hand the link between the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor—he knows that they are one.”

He concluded the service by asking the gathered faithful, “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?"

I think that question is one we should all be asking ourselves. Perhaps if we all accept responsibility for the mess our planet is in, together through actions big and small, we can restore some economic and environmental balance.

Pope Francis reminds us that people have forgotten that “we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.” 

We have to stop admiring the pope and start imitating him. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have they changed the position on birth control cause overcrowding is a major contributor to fresh water pollution!