By Andrea Tilche & Antonello Nociti
An urgent appeal from Pope Francis and as described by others, “an urgent call to action to protect the earth and its inhabitants from ruin” addressed to “every person living on this planet” for an inclusive dialogue about shaping the future of our planet. The Holy Father calls the Church and the world to acknowledge the urgency of our environmental challenges and to join him in embarking on a new path.
While the world seeks to analyze Pope Francis’ encyclical and place it into a political framework, it would be much more beneficial to read it and simply seek ways to live it in our everyday lives.
As Philip Kosloski puts it: “Pope Francis, being a professional “bridge-builder” (Pontifex), gives us the opportunity to bridge yet another chasm that has developed in our fallen human world. With the rise of the technological age, we have distanced ourselves from nature and proudly profess how we have become its “master.” Pope Francis recognized the dangers of this type of world-view and wrote “Laudato Sì” to teach us a more human approach to our God-given task of earthly stewardship.
Laudato Sì addresses the subject of the protection of the environment, “the care of our common home”. This rich and complex document analyses the causes of today’s ecological challenges, acknowledging the scientific consensus but adding an original analysis of the social, cultural, ethical and spiritual dimensions that are associated with the degradation of the environment. The Pope’s vision is that the ecological crisis is ultimately linked to a crisis of values, a spiritual void that permeates today’s technocratic society. What makes this document particularly innovative is the Pope’s appeal to action that, acknowledging the urgency and the immensity of the challenges we face, sees also its beauty, being a unique occasion for humankind to show what it is capable of doing, and that is capable of taking responsibility. This positive narrative has the potential to mobilize people and governments towards a joint action that cannot however be limited to technological fixes, but should be broadened to consider new development models capable of addressing the deep roots of this crisis.