A Fifth Anniversary Celebration and Reaffirmation of Pope Francis' Encyclical on Care of Our Common Home
"The cry of the earth and of the poor cannot continue." This is the urgent message that Pope Francis is reiterating on the fifth anniversary of his pivotal 2015 encyclical, "Laudato Si': On Care for our Common Home." Its title, Laudato Si' ("Praise be to you"), are the opening words of an often-prayed hymn of praise of God, the earth, and all her creatures by St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), whom Pope Francis identifies as "the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology."
Resonating that same urgent message, this conference, encouraged by Pope Francis' officials at the Holy See, draws attention to the even greater urgency of this universally significant document in its fifth anniversary year and how its message resounds across religious traditions. In his new encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis draws from Laudato Si': "In this shallow, short-sighted culture that we have created, bereft of a shared vision, 'it is foreseeable that, once certain resources have been depleted, the scene will be set for new wars…'" This event convenes voices from Pope Francis' staff in Rome and from diverse religious traditions and various agencies to encourage discernment, cooperation, and policy development for an integral ecology.
The program consists of three online sessions over two days. On Oct. 29, Cardinal Miguel Ayuso, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, will deliver the keynote address in the first session, after words of welcome from John J. DeGioia, president of Georgetown University. Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, co-founders and co-directors of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, will offer reflections after Cardinal Ayuso's address. In a subsequent session, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu representatives will reflect on how Laudato Si' resonates in their religious traditions.
On Oct. 30, representatives of various agencies and organizations structured to connect religious communities on environmental issues will explore how multireligious cooperation enhances care of the earth and the vulnerable.
This event is co-sponsored by Georgetown University's Office of the President; Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; and the Office of the Vice President for Global Engagement with the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University.