Laudato Si’ Pledge launched on 2nd anniversary of encyclical’s release
In celebration of the 2nd anniversary of Laudato Si’ (June 18, 2015), GCCM launched the Laudato Si’ Pledge campaign to keep the Pontiff’s message alive and encourage mass Catholic action to address the climate crisis.
This campaign will be an ongoing 3-years effort to recruit new supporters and grow the movement with a goal of engaging at least 1 million Catholics with the Laudato Si’ message. Soon after the campaign launch, Pope Francis himself joined the campaign, posing for a picture promoting the pledge:
Sign the pledge at LiveLaudatoSi.org!
The encyclical anniversary and launch of the Laudato Si Pledge was celebrated around the world, previewing a big campaign in the months to come. Here are some highlights:
The formal kickoff event of the Laudato Si’ Pledge campaign happened on June 17th in Manila, Philippines, with a wonderful video message from Cardinal Tagle, archbishop of Manila and president of Caritas Internationalis.
The event brought together the major Catholic institutions of the country and 500+ participants.
The Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) adopted the pledge campaign in their general assembly, with the bishops signing the pledge on behalf of their dioceses, and thousands of Laudato Si Pledges have already been collected at several dioceses across the Philippines.
Right before the anniversary, the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences hosted a climate change seminar in Bangkok for nearly 40 Asian bishops and leaders, which included a spotlight on the Laudato Si Pledge.
GCCM Executive Director Tomas Insua spoke on GCCM’s ministry and campaigns, and gathered the first signatures for the Laudato Si’ Pledge from this wonderful group of Asian bishops and Church leaders.
Participants posed for pictures to share their pledges, such as these bishops:
GCCM partnered with the Bishops Conference of Spain and other national Catholic institutions to convene a Laudato Si seminar in occasion of the anniversary and promote the pledge.
Cáritas Pakistan Karachi collaborated with other humanitarian and interfaith organizations in One Million Tree Plantation Campaign. Prolonged drought for the past four years in the area has greatly affected the ability to grow crops. Caritas distributed food aid to Muslim villagers to help ease their problems during the holy month of Ramadan.
CAFOD promoted the Laudato Si Pledge in Catholic schools, as with this lovely group from Lancaster:
Papua New Guinea
Cardinal John Ribat, Archbishop of Papua New Guinea and president of the Federation of Bishops Conferences of Oceania, said: “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.”
The Franciscan family in Rome
Other Church and environmental leaders also expressed support for the encyclical and the Laudato Si Pledge by providing insightful statements:
Cardinal Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development: “Laudato sì is important for its affirmation of hope in humanity’s ability and power to change for the better: the better of our common home!”
Cardinal 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 Marx, president the European Bishops Conferences: “Laudato Si is important because Pope Francis makes us to understand: Our fight for social justice and against poverty, and our commitment to protect the climate and ‹the Earth, our common home› do not exclude each other. They are two sides of the same coin. Therefore both deserve our full attention and our willingness to act.”
Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General: “The landmark encyclical by His Holiness Pope Francis — Laudato Si — called on humankind to unite for people, planet and peace. I thank the Catholic Church for its continued leadership in promoting environmental stewardship and implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change. All of us have a responsibility to work together to build a healthy planet and a world free of poverty, conflict, suffering and intolerance.”
Christinia Figueres, Fmr. Executive Secretary, UNFCCC: “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.”
Marie Dennis, 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.”
Read more quotes from Church and environmental leaders here.