LISTENING AND JOURNEYING TOGETHER — Laudato Si’ Week 2022

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LISTENING AND JOURNEYING TOGETHER Laudato Si’ Week 2022 (May 22-29, 2022) A Statement from the President of th […]

LISTENING AND JOURNEYING TOGETHER
Laudato Si’ Week 2022
(May 22-29, 2022)
A Statement from the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan

In May 2015, Pope Francis promulgated the encyclical Laudato Si’: On care for our common home, calling on the whole world to comprehensively address various ecological issues from the perspective of carefully protecting our common home. Because all creation is interconnected, the pope emphasized the importance of exploring ways to live in harmony and called on the entire Church to address this challenge.

In response to the pope’s November 2019 visit to Japan, the Japanese bishops prayerfully reflected on the theme of his visit, “Protect all life.” Wanting to realize the various messages Pope Francis gave to the world from Japan, the country’s bishops decided to set aside a special “Month to Protect Life” from September 1 to October 4 each year. The first was last year. Laudato Si’ embodies the pope’s strong feeling for life, a proclamation that is a gift spoken from Japan to the world.

At the same time, to tackle environmental issues more seriously, the bishops have prepared a comprehensive document that outlines the direction and understanding of various initiatives and are now preparing to publish it as a book. They are also considering other practical activities.

In churches around the world, shortly after the announcement of the 2015 encyclical, a network that had been working on environmental issues developed into the Laudato Si’ Movement. In collaboration with the Holy See’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the movement calls on the Church around the world to engage in awareness-raising activities, marking a week around May 24, the anniversary of the publication of the encyclical, as “Laudato Si Week.”

This year’s Laudato Si’ Week will be from May 22 to 29, and the theme is “Listening and Journeying Together.” The call to “be together” is a reminder that we are now together on the Synodal path.

In his encyclical Pope Francis wrote, “The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development” (13). Unfortunately, in the last few months we have made this common home a place of contention. The unity of the entire human family has not been realized, and consideration for our common home has been put off.

Together with churches around the world, we will once again heed the pope’s call in Laudato Si’ Week and strengthen our concrete commitment to its central theme, the Laudato Si’ Goals.

LAUDATO SI’ GOALS

  1. Response to the Cry of the Earth
    The Response to the Cry of the Earth is a call to protect our common home for the wellbeing of all, as we equitably address the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and ecological sustainability.
  2. Response to the Cry of the Poor
    The Response to the Cry of the Poor is a call to promote eco-justice, aware that we are called to defend human life from conception to death, and all forms of life on Earth.
  3. Ecological Economics
    Ecological Economics acknowledges that the economy is a sub-system of human society, which itself is embedded within the biosphere–our common home.
  4. Adoption of Simple Lifestyles
    The Adoption of Sustainable Lifestyles is grounded in the idea of sufficiency, and promoting sobriety in the use of resources and energy.
  5. Ecological Education
    Ecological Education is about re-thinking and re-designing curricular and institutional reform in the spirit of integral ecology in order to foster ecological awareness and transformative action.
  6. Ecological Spirituality
    Ecological Spirituality springs from a profound ecological conversion and helps us to “discover God in all things”, both in the beauty of creation and in the sighs of the sick and the groans of the afflicted, aware that the life of the spirit is not dissociated from worldly realities.
  7. Community Resilience and Empowerment
    Community resilience and empowerment envisage a synodal journey of community engagement and participatory action at various levels.

+Isao Kikuchi, President
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan
May 5, 2022

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