How far have we come in five years? The legacy of Laudato Si’ in England and Wales

Edward de Quay, Project Manager for the Bishops’ Conference Environmental Advisory Group, looks at how Catholics in England and Wales have responded to Laudato Si’ and how each of us can be part of that response.

To those keenly waiting for the publication of Laudato Si’ (LS) the text was a relief. Led by Scripture and grounded in science, it identified care for creation as key to our faith, recognising that ‘science and religion, with their distinctive approaches to understanding reality, can enter into an intense dialogue fruitful for both’ (LS 62). By accepting the signs of the times and understanding them through the lens of our faith, Pope Francis presented a powerful case to care for our common home.

Equally important was his insight that the ecological crisis we face is a human one; that climate change is a symptom of a problem that cannot be solved without addressing the root cause, which is our way of living and thinking and interacting with the world: ‘The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life’ (LS 2). Drawing on the teaching of Pope St John Paul II, we are asked to embark on the journey of a ‘profound interior conversion’, leading to an ‘ecological conversion’ (LS 217).

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